Michael Rector is committed to making the language of classical music vivid for people of all ages and backgrounds. As a pianist, he invigorates and expands the repertoire through innovative programming that re-contextualizes familiar pieces and makes vivid new and neglected works. His repertoire ranges from Haydn to Harbison and from Couperin to Carter. He is also a dedicated teacher, researcher and advocate for the arts.
Michael Rector is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. As a performer, he is best known for piano duo collaborations with Sylvia Hong. They have played recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul. Sylvia and Michael are the current 1st prize winners (2021) of the Ellis Competition for Duo-Pianists. In April 2014, they toured in Eastern Europe, performing with the Georgian Sinfonietta and Black Sea Symphony. Highlights of their numerous tours in Korea include playing two sold-out concerts on the same day in Busan, and an invitation to perform with the orchestra in the Olympic city of Gangneung during the 2018 winter games.
Michael graduated from the doctoral program at Manhattan School of Music, where his teacher was Philip Kawin. He also earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, where he majored in comparative literature. Michael has presented lecture-recitals and masterclasses both at home and abroad, including at China Conservatory in Beijing, the University of Kassel in Germany, and numerous universities and music schools in Korea. His academic research focuses on performance practice and style change, with articles in the journals Empirical Musicology Review, Perspectives of New Music and the Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie . He has also written about piano pedagogy for American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, and the MTNA e-Journal. In addition to his frequent presentations for local and regional music teachers, he has appeared at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and the Performance Studies Network conferences (UK). He is the founder and director of the UWGB Piano Academy, a precollege program that prioritizes access and inclusivity.