Michael Mikulka is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Theory and Composition at Southwestern University. He has written well over 100 pieces with varied styles, lengths, and instrumentations. His music has been performed throughout the United States and internationally, including by members of the New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, by performance faculty at several universities, by founding members of the Canadian Brass and the Kronos Quartet, and by acclaimed flutist Robert Dick. Michael has been named a winner or finalist 32 times in composition contests and calls for scores.
Michael completed his DMA in Composition at the University of Texas, where he studied with Donald Grantham, Russell Pinkston, and Yevgeniy Sharlat. He completed his MM in Composition at Central Michigan University, where he studied with David Gillingham and Jay Batzner, and he received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from Rutgers University.
Michael is a horn player (plays on a Conn 28D), and most recently studied with Pat Hughes. He previously studied with Douglas Lundeen and Amy Larkey-Emelianoff. While pursuing his doctoral degree, Michael performed as a member of the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Horn Choir (which won 1st place in the student division of the 2015 IHS Large Ensemble competition using Michael's "Sarabande and Retaliation" as the main piece). In addition, Michael frequently premieres solo and chamber compositions and has written a horn multiphonic method book.
In March of 2013, Michael created New Band Music, a composer advocacy site which promotes self-published wind ensemble works written by "emerging" composers for free. He is also the creator and conductor of the Vine Orchestra, which was formed in October 2013 and has resulted in the premiere of over 50 (six-second or less) pieces. Michael also co-founded the Rutgers Undergraduate Composers Recital.
grew up in rural New Jersey, which is
not an oxymoron. After a childhood that consisted
primarily of playing sports and catching literally tens of thousands of fish, he now spends much of his free time cooking,
reading comedy and
science non-fiction, and following intersectional feminists on Twitter. Michael remains a fan of the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox (and whatever team is playing the Yankees) and he is a fantasy baseball/sabermetrics enthusiast.