Michael Gancz (b. 1999) is an Israeli-American composer, conductor, trombonist, and carillonneur studying music theory and composition at Yale University, where they will receive simultaneous Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 2022. They have studied composition with Dr. Kathryn Alexander, Dr. Konrad Kaczmarek, Ryan Lindveit and Liliya Ugay. They have studied trombone with Dan Vaitkus and Corey Sansolo, and taken special lessons with Scott Hartman. They study carillon with Ellen Dickinson.
Gancz is the recipient of a 2021 Franco Carillon Composition Performance Prize, the 2020 Abraham Beekman Cox award “for the most promising and gifted composer in the Yale junior class,” and the Joseph Selden Award for a student “especially notable for their contribution in the field of music.” Gancz has been a composition fellow at the 2020 SONUS Foundation “Let a Master Pitch In” program, the 2020 COUNTERCLOCK Arts Collective, the 2019 Ostrava New and Experimental Music Institute and Festival, and the 2019 Off the Beaten Path music series in Washington, D.C.
At Yale, Michael conducts the Davenport Pops Orchestra and organizes the annual All-Nighter Music and Arts Festival. They work as the manager of a recording studio and as a computational music analyst for the Gerstein Laboratory. As a digital archivist at the Oral History of American Music, they interview major figures in the history of American music. They are also the musical director of Hear Your Song@Yale, a foundation that works with children in New Haven hospitals to write and professionally record personalized songs. Michael is the founder of Scale & Bones Trombone Choir, and performs solo experimental trombone shows under the moniker BONEGOD.
Gancz’s compositional impetus often derives from questions of honesty, and cultural, national, interpersonal and religious identity. They collaborate frequently with poets and multimedia artists, and their works are often performed or broadcast in art spaces. Their compositions have been performed by the Albatross Duo, Margaret Lancaster, the Ostravskà Banda, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Undergraduate Chamber Orchestra, and the Yale Jazz Ensemble, among others.