Michael Refvem

piano
biography
Described as an artist who "within one keystroke, creates gem tones, backlit primary colors, that can decay into pastel at his whim" (Sean MacLean, Classical KING FM 98.1) and of "supreme fluency and psychic intuition" (Jack Frymire, Bellingham Music Club), Michael Refvem enjoys a multifaceted career as recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. Festival appearances include the Bellingham Festival of Music, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts Winter Piano Institute, Marrowstone Music Festival, and Prague Music Performance Institute and Festival. Performances with the Bellingham Festival of Music have included solo recitals and collaborations with guest artists including saxophonist Jeffrey Siegfried and international violinist Stefan Jackiw. In Prague, he collaborated with members of the Prague Philharmonia in the Brahms Piano Quintet, and his gala performance of Ravel's infamous Gaspard de la nuit was even attended by the legendary Alfred Brendel. His performances have been heard on prominent stages in New York City (Lincoln Center Rose Studio, Manhattan School of Music Greenfield Hall), Prague (Martinu Hall, Convent of St. Agnes, National Gallery) and Seattle (Town Hall, Steinway Piano Gallery, Classical KING FM 98.1).

As a soloist, Michael has performed with orchestras at the Marrowstone Music Festival and Western Washington University. Recently, he collaborated with Jeremy Berry, violist of the Calidore String Quartet, in a series of recitals and on Classical KING FM 98.1 in Seattle. Notable upcoming performances include appearances at the Miami Music Festival, his Chicago debut on the roster of artists in the International Music Foundation's Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, his Montréal recital debut in L'Oasis Musicale series at la cathédral Christ Church, and soloist in a performance of the first Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in Seattle for Lake Union Civic Orchestra's 2017-18 season under the direction of Christophe Chagnard.

With a wide range of musical interests, Michael has performed repertoire ranging from Byrd and Rameau to Adams and Rzewski. He has made it his mission to increase the exposure of new music and is especially committed to spreading the music written by his colleagues. Recently, he gave the New York City premiere of Roger Briggs Impromptu at Manhattan School of Music's Lives of the Piano lecture/concert series. On the early end of the historical spectrum is Michael's additional passion for harpsichord performance, which has included solo recitals and a performance of J.S. Bach's fifth Brandenburg Concerto at the Marrowstone Music Festival.

Mr. Refvem received his bachelor's degree at Western Washington University, where he worked with Jeffrey Gilliam and was staff collaborative pianist. He received his master's degree from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Zenon Fishbein and André-Michel Schub. Principal teachers and mentors have included David Dubal, Craig Sheppard, Heasook Rhee, Jocelyn Stewart, Paul Cohen and Daniel Avshalomov. In addition, he has participated in master classes with Andrei Gavrilov, Paul-Badura Skoda, Stephen Hough, Gilbert Kalish, Jeremy Denk, Margo Garrett, Stephen Drury, Frederic Rzewski and Kurt Muroki. Michael recently moved to Montréal, Quebec where he enjoys walks in the old town and Mount Royal, and maintains his new blog, Musings of the Musical Life, in his spare time. Next year, he is attending the Schulich School of Music at McGill University for a Graduate Diploma in Performance as a student of Kyoko Hashimoto.

For more information, visit www.michaelrefvem.com

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Short Profile

NameRefvem, Michael
Date of Birth1988-01-22
Born inUnited States, North America
Home LocationMontréal, Canada
Main languageEnglish
attended UniversitiesMcGill University, Manhattan School of Music, Western Washington University
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Reviews
Testimonial by Sean MacLean
2016-03-22 Classical KING FM 98.1, Seattle
"Michael Refvem, I'm now convinced, could play a factory assembly line piano and make it sound like a handmade one. He cares about something we might expect to be foremost for any musician, yet we find lacking in a majority of pianists: deep tone, full of color and nuance. Within one keystroke, gem tones, backlit primary colors, can decay into pastel at his whim, as he deftly works the half-pedal technique that can only be acquired by listening. Refvem listens to the way the sound changes after the initial strike, and adjusts the color and envelope as it fills the room, before it gets to our ears. While he commands all the other techniques expected of pianists, with this magic he signs his name."
(Sean MacLean)
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Bellingham Music Club Recital Series Review
2015-12-09 Bellingham Music Club Facebook Page, Bellingham
"Jeremy Berry's Night Beat recital in December was a stupendous success! He is a great artist. His account of the prelude to Bach's Suite no. 3 was ideal, with the sense of Romantic rubato one associates with Casals or Ma, but the conceptual rigor of a Janos Starker. Pianist Michael Refvem was a superb collaborator - supreme fluency, psychic intuition. Neither artist revealed any discernible flaw or limit in technique, but what mattered most was the way they melded symbiotically with the music. Inspired and inspiring. In sum, this was the best concert the BMC has hosted in the 27 years I've been coming."
(Jack Frymire)
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