MICHAEL ROTH, whose work has been called "music one could imagine Charles Ives composing had he lived long enough to encounter rock-and-roll and beat poetry," is a composer, musician, sound designer, music director, orchestrator and pianist who has created a body of work encompassing chamber music, music for film, THE WEB OPERA, new and experimental opera and music/theatre, dance scores, work for PBS and Disney, and collaborations with Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer, Tom Stoppard, Al Pacino in addition to many collaborations with Randy Newman. He is especially known for his work in theatre, having composed music and sound for over 250 productions at major theatres throughout North America, including Broadway, off-Broadway, as a resident artist at both South Coast Repertory (57 productions) and La Jolla Playhouse (35 productions) and Canada's Stratford Festival.
Recent projects: with Tom Hanks, HENRY IV in Los Angeles; with Christopher Plummer, THE TEMPEST, onstage and filmed at Stratford, and Plummer's solo show A WORD OR TWO; the PBS documentary JEWS & BASEBALL narrated by Dustin Hoffman; IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE, his chamber music-theatre treatment of Samuel Beckett's text, for string quartet, recorded voices, and laptop, seen in LA, San Diego and Prague; two US premieres with Tom Stoppard; collaborating with Stacy Keach on his solo show as Hemingway; two collaborations with
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig - THE LAST WORDS OF UNCLE DIRT (Playwright's Horizons, featuring Kok-Hwa-Lie, with Wu Man on pipa) and their music/theatre piece THE NEW PLANET; three piano sonatas: SHEETCAKE, FATS NOVEMBER, and TUESDAY FOR TOY PIANO (for Mark Robson); his new opera, THE GOLEM OF LA JOLLA; and a new collaboration with Al Pacino.
Michael received a Santa Monica Arts Commission Grant for THE WEB OPERA, his online film/opera, an official selection at 34 film festivals, recently featured at the NEW MUSIC GATHERING-2021, composed to raise awareness of cyber-abuse.
His many collaborations with Randy Newman as music director, orchestrator, arranger, and pianist, include musical direction for THE PRINCESS & THE FROG (Disney Animated Feature), orchestrations for FAUST - recently revised for a concert presentation in New York, upcoming at the Soraya Center in LA - and editing five definitive songbook anthologies for Alfred Music Publishing.
Michael has also collaborated with, among many others, Anne Bogart, Brian Dennehy, Des McAnuff, Richard Montoya & Culture Clash, Carey Perloff, Bill Pullman, Peter Sellars, Daniel Sullivan, Thomas Kail, Mac Wellman, MacArthur Fellows Sarah Ruhl and Samuel Hunter, and as a pianist has accompanied singers from Alice Ripley to Madonna, Michael McKean, Marni Nixon, and Alicia Keyes. His music is also featured in the Wearable Tech Insider Podcast.
Michael taught sound design at UCSD and is a founding board member of the THEATRICAL SOUND DESIGNERS & COMPOSERS ASSOCIATION where throughout the pandemic he led the TSDCA Salons. A spokesperson for FINALE notation software, Michael has composed for the UN (against the proliferation of landmines) and attended the 2011 Sundance Composers Lab, the 2013 Baku Azerbaijan Forum, and San Diego Opera's OPERA HACK (2021-22). He graduated from the University of Michigan where he studied with William Bolcom, and his work, including his acclaimed CD THEIR THOUGHT & BACK AGAIN, is available via iTunes.