There is nothing traditional about Michael’s ‘Traditional Solo Concert Program” as he brings deeper meaning and revelation in his commentary and performance of the Liszt Sonata. Hear the drama of Faust, Mephistopheles, and Gretchen unfold... witness the magic of thematic transformation and behold the overwhelming power of salvation as told by Liszt in his magnificent and timeless Sonata in B Minor. This program is complimented with Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 2, No. 3 in C major, a set of works by Chopin, and a few fun, contemporary, finger-busting showpieces.
Critics have hailed Michael Schneider as "a pianist with exceptional insight" and a "performer with great panache" in performances across the states and abroad. Michael has performed in legendary venues such as the château of George Sand in Nohant, France, Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, and the Library of Congress. He has been a featured guest artist at the International Chopin Festival in France, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, directed by Lukas Foss, 'Pianotune' Festival in Brussels, the Hungarian Festival in Cancun, Mexico, the American Liszt Society Annual Conference, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, CA, and for seven summers was an audience favorite at Pianofest in the Hamptons. On February 5, 2011, with one day's notice, Michael gave a full length solo recital in place of the cancelled San Angelo Symphony Concert due to inclement weather.
In recent years, Michael has performed the Liszt E-flat Concerto with the San Angelo Symphony, the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Irving New Philharmonic Orchestra, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F with the San Angelo and Plano Symphonies, the Brahms D minor Concerto with the Lewisville Lake Symphony, and the Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos with the UT University Orchestra. Other concerto appearances have included the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (IL), the Richardson Symphony Orchestra (TX), the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra (OK), the Harding University Orchestra (AK), and the Big Spring Symphony (TX).
Championing the music of Franz Liszt, Michael is quickly becoming known for his portrayal of Franz Liszt in his monodrama "Liszt and the Last Years", which combines an original script based off of factual events with performances of works completed with a PowerPoint backdrop. This has been featured at the annual conventions of the Music Teachers Association of California and the Texas Music Teachers Association as well as performed at the University of Texas at Austin for numerous donor groups. Other lecture/presentations Michael has given include "Gottschalk: Life and Works", "The Common Mistakes of Practicing", and "Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue" – a children's book by Anna Harwell Celenza read by Michael while providing soundtrack from the piano.
As a collaborator, he has performed recitals with violinists Frank Almond (concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony), Jun Iwasaki (concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony), cellist Boris Andrianov (3rd prize winner of Tchaikovsky Competition) and many others. He is a regular performer with Mélange Musical, a chamber series in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex. In July 2010, with only a few days notice, he performed with several stars in the trombone world, including full recitals with Jorgen van Rijen (international recording artist), Ian Bousfield (principal trombonist of the Vienna Philharmonic), and Jacques Mauger (trombonist of the Paris Opera and teacher at the Paris Conservatoire). In 2014, Michael finished recording a CD entitled "Multiple Personae: The Family of Clarients" for clarinet and piano by Virko Baley with clarinetist Dr. Timothy Bonenfant on the TNC Classical Label.
Michael is the creator and artistic director of the San Angelo Piano Festival, a classical music festival in West Texas with an emphasis on the piano repertoire. Annual events include guest artist recitals, impromptu musicales, a composition contest, and a young artist program that includes a competition, master classes and a showcase recital. Michael is also a co-creator of the Austin Piano Festival, established in 2013.
Michael holds degrees from the University of North Texas, where he studied with Dr. Pamela Mia Paul, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Mr. Paul Schenly. After two years as adjunct Professor of Piano at Youngstown State University in Ohio, he returned to Texas to study with Anton Nel at the University of Texas at Austin where he received his Doctorate of Music in May 2011. In the fall of 2010, Michael guest taught in place of artist-in-residence Dr. Michelle Schumann at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He has also been adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Austin and Concordia University-Austin.
In addition to our patrons and audiences, Blanco Performing Arts' sponsors help make our excellent performances possible and bring these talented musicians to Blanco. Visit our sponsors and show them you support arts in the Hill Country.
The Uptown Blanco Ballroom is home to the Blanco Performing Arts concert series, located on the west side of the courthouse square in Blanco, Texas. Find directions and parking...
If you need a place to stay while you’re in our little burg, there are a number of options. We have hotels, numerous B&Bs, and beautiful riverside spots for those of you with RVs.
Blanco Performing Arts is incorporated as a non-profit entity, and is recognized as such under Section 501(3)(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.