Born: June 16, 1968 Primary Instrument: Piano
Mike began playing piano 35 years ago at the age of 7. His first teacher was Sr. Jean Marie Farrell. He then studied classical piano and organ with Mark Ochu and performed in many local recitals. As an adolescent, Mike studied pop and classical organ and piano with Norm Gray and competed successfully in many regional organ competitions.
Mike left high school early to study aerospace engineering at the University of Minnesota followed by a brief stint as a midshipman at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
He then studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston where his private piano teacher was Ray Santisi (whose former students also include Keith Jarrett and Diana Krall).
In the late 80's Mike transferred to the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles to study jazz piano performance and theory with Dick Grove.
After working 17 years in software development at a downtown Minneapolis law firm, and completing a degree in Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Mike's focus has now returned to his original passion: music!
A connoisseur of fine pianos, Mike's quest to find his dream piano--one that was uniquely suited to capture the ideal piano sound he heard in his mind's ear--took many years and several pianos. Over the years he has owned a Yamaha upright, a Kawai baby grand, a Yamaha grand, and a refurbished Steinway grand.
His piano quest culminated in the purchase of a new 9 foot Steinway D concert grand in 2005. Mike spent two days at the Steinway factory in New York playing and evaluating several different concert grands and receiving a personal tour of the Steinway factory before ultimately selecting his dream piano. (Mike, a fan of Woody Allen movies, dubbed his choice piano Aphrodite as in My D, Aphrodite.)
Mike's debut album of solo piano music entitled Grandcrafted was released in November 2008. The CD can be purchased at CDBaby and it's also available for digital download on iTunes and the Amazon MP3 store.
Mike lives in Winsted, Minnesota with his wife Diana and son Nicholas.
Pair of DPA 4012 high voltage mics
Pair of QTC40 mics
Millennia Media HV3D preamp
Prism Orpheus interface
Apple MacBook Pro laptop