Conductor Michael Sheetz is a leading and versatile professional in his field. With a background as a collaborative pianist and more than a decade of experience as a conductor who engages audiences with dynamic repertoire, Michael believes in the power of music to heal and build bonds of social capital. Michael, in the words on conductor Kent Tritle, has “that magic combination of talent, charisma, integrity and a willingness to do the hard work.”
Michael is the newly appointed Music Director of The Greenwich Village Chamber Singers. He is an Instructor at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where he directs the College Choir and select Chamber Singers ensembles. As Assistant Music Director of Musica Sacra, New York City’s longest continuously performing professional choral ensemble, Michael conducts, prepares, and accompanies in performance at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Through this organization Michael initiated an educational outreach program which engages at-need music programs in and around New York City. As Music Associate at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue, Michael performs in acclaimed Concerts at St. Ignatius music series where he directs two choruses, the Wallace Hall Choir and Orchestra and Canticum Sacrum. Michael is a faculty member of Classic Lyric Arts, a summer training program for emerging vocal artists in Novafeltria, Italy.
In December 2021 Michael was hired as the cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic’s performances of Handel’s Messiah. He has served as assistant conductor, assistant choral director or rehearsal accompanist for several high-profile NYC music events, including the NY Philharmonic performance of Holst’s The Planets as well as live screenings of Amadeus, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He worked again with the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center Festival performances of Beethoven’s Symphony 9, Walton’s Henry V, Ives’ Symphony No. 4 and the complete choral works of Edgard Varèse. Michael also participated in the NYC Ballet performances of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He has conducted performances of J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has served as Associate Conductor at The Juilliard School for Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. He has also conducted numerous concert programs featuring repertoire from chant to 21st-century world premieres.
Michael has taught on the faculties of Vassar College, The Juilliard School, and the United Nations International School. For six seasons Michael was the Assistant Conductor of the Fairfield County Chorale and a choral scholar with the Oratorio Society of New York for three seasons.
As a conductor of new music, Michael has worked closely with renowned composers Meredith Monk, Wang Jie, Jocelyn Hagen, Evan Fein, Frank Ferko, Julius Revie and Gisle Kverndokk. Michael has commissioned and conducted world premieres of choral motets by emerging composers Alyssa Regent, Shahar Regev, and Tamara McLeod.
As a rehearsal accompanist, Michael has played for internationally renowned conductors Philippe Entremont, Alan Gilbert, Dame Jane Glover, Pablo Heras-Casado, Bernard Labadie, Andrew Megill, Andrew Litton, Maria Guinand, Sir Roger Norrington, and Bramwell Tovey, among others. As a performance accompanist he has been engaged with the Voices of Ascension Chorus, Berkshire Choral International, New York University Chamber Singers, New York Choral Consortium, College Light Opera Company, Middlebury Opera, Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Metropolitan Opera Guild, and the Weill Music Institute.
Michael has performed at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, and his pianism has been featured in numerous live broadcasts on WQXR and Vermont Public Radio. As an art song recitalist he has performed in concert with many singers, and his discography includes recordings on the AMR and MSR Classics labels. His collaborative playing has been deemed “consistently excellent” by the American Record Guide Review.
As an opera conductor he has led performances of L’incoronazione di Poppea, Die Zauberflöte, and Alcina at New York Lyric Opera, and Upon This Handful of Earth at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in collaboration with New York Opera Society.
Michael will graduate with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting in May 2023 from Manhattan School of Music, where he also holds a Master of Music and two Professional Studies degrees. He is a graduate of Vassar College and he resides in New York City with his wife, Diana.