Michael Kaufman portrait

Michael Kaufman

Chamber Music Department Chair

An exciting cellist exploring various facets of the classical music scene, Michael Kaufman has recorded works by Tigran Mansurian for ECM Records and has performed at prestigious venues such as Zankel and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. Concerto performances and chamber music engagements have taken him across the United States and Western Europe to festivals such as Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, Yellow Barn, Music@Menlo, and Verbier. His diverse performance projects have included chamber music concerts with Midori, Brett Dean’s 12 Angry Men in Disney Hall at the Piatigorsky Festival, the premiere of a concerto written by Sean Friar with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and leading as principal cello of La Monnaie in Brussels. Founder and artistic director of Sunset ChamberFest and founding member of the cello quintet SAKURA, Michael champions eclectic juxtapositions of music from the classical and contemporary canon and is an advocate for guiding and cultivating future generations of composers. He received his bachelor’s degree from Eastman studying with Steven Doane, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California studying with Ralph Kirshbaum. Michael is a member of LA Opera and is on the chamber music faculty of Pasadena Conservatory and Colburn Community School of Performing Arts.