Michael Gancz (b. 1999) is an Israeli-American composer, researcher, and multimedia artist. They earned their MA in music theory and BA in music from Yale University, summa cum laude and with distinction in the major, in 2022. In 2023, as a BAEF fellow, they earned a diploma from the Royal Carillon School “Jef Denyn” in Mechelen, Belgium. They now work as a research associate with the Mark Gerstein laboratory, where they design and optimize machine-learning tools to help analyze culture, creative expression, and the brain.
Gancz’s award-winning concert compositions have been featured at the Sō Percussion Summer Institute, the Ostrava Days Festival, the SONUS Foundation Let A Master Pitch In program, the GCNA Congress, the Off the Beaten Path series, and SICPP. They are also an avid composer of music for podcasts, short films, video games, theatrical productions, and art magazines. Gancz is an alumnus of the NYU Steinhardt Video Game Scoring Workshop and a finalist of the Noteflight Video Game Scoring Contest. They have studied with Kathryn Alexander and Konrad Kaczmarek, and done additional work under Trevor Bača, David Lang, Christopher Theofanidis, and Steve Shapiro.
Gancz’s research interests center on sound spatialization and immersive sound design, machine-learning-assisted music and audition analysis, neurologic music therapy, and ludic/interactive musical architecture. They hold a strong secondary interest in DEI advocacy and musical community building. As part of their Master’s thesis project, Gancz designed and built an ambisonic array at Yale’s Blended Reality Laboratory. They have presented their work at the University of Michigan Organ Conference, and have authored or coauthored articles currently under review in Science, The Journal of the Royal Society: Interface, and Beiaard en Klokkenkultur.
Gancz wears many hats as a performer and studio musician: they have conducted several ensembles including the Davenport Pops Orchestra, toured Europe and the US as a carillonist, played trombone at Lincoln Center, and gigged on keys for a number of bands in the DC and New Haven areas. They are also close friends with the eldritch being known only as BONEGOD, and the cofounder of the trombone choir Scale & Bones.
Gancz frequently collaborates with artists, poets, programmers and filmmakers to create works that transcend the boundaries of genre and medium. Gancz’s multimodal work has appeared online, on billboards in Times Square, and at the All Nighter, a festival they founded in 2018 to help promote strange and ill-defined works of art and performance. They are always looking for new collaborators, and would be delighted to work with you on your next project!
In their time away from work, Gancz is a dedicated amateur video game developer, origami artist, and recreational mathematician, as well as a proud auncle of 3 cats and a dog that thinks she’s a cat.