Composer, violinist and musical director Michael Galasso was born in Hammond, Louisiana in 1949, to a concert violinist father and an oboist mother. He began studying the violin at the age of 3 and had his solo debut performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor with the New Orleans Philharmonic at age 11. Galasso continued his studies at Oberlin and Dartmouth Colleges.
A musician of classical formation influenced by his encounter with John Cage at the age of 18, born in the land of jazz, rock and rhythm n’blues, author for theater, cinema, dance and sound installations, this violin virtuoso has been experimenting for 30 years on a melodical and rhythmical synthesis in which his affinities with Baroque music are entwined with his American heritage as well as with Iranian and central Asia traditions.
Michael Galasso began his career composing music for Robert Wilson's "Ouverture"(1972), "The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin" (1973), "A Letter for Queen Victoria" (1974-5), and "The $ Value of Man" (1975). Also with Wilson, he has written the score for Ibsen's "Lady from the Sea" (1998), Strindberg's "A Dreamplay" (1998), voted the best foreign theater production for the 1999-2000 season by the French Theater and Music Critics Society after a performance in Paris in March 2000 at the Theatre National de Chaillot, Chekhov’s "Three Sisters" (2001), and for the theatrical version of Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz and Robert Wiene's silent film, "The Cabinet of Doktor Caligari" (2002). In 2004, Wilson and Galasso collaborated on “Les Fables de La Fontaine” for the Comédie-Française, which premiered January 30, 2004 in Paris and has been an enormous critical and public success. In November 2004, Galasso and Wilson will premiere “2 Lips and Dancers in Space” with the Nederlands Dans Theater in Luxembourg. Galasso is presently finishing the score for “Peer Gynt”, directed by Wilson and premiering in Oslo in February 2005.
Recent film scores include Wong Kar-Wai’s “Chunking Express” and “In the Mood for Love”, Babak Payami’s Iranian film “Secret Ballot”, Tajikistan’s Djemsjed Osmonov’s “Angel on my Right Shoulder”, Sam Gabarski’s “The Tango Rashevski”, Darvish Zaim’s Turkish film, “Çamur” (Mud), and Mariana Otero’s documentary “Histoire d’un Secret” and Gabriele Salvatores’ “I am not afraid”.
Galasso also has made numerous sound/music installations, including the Giorgio Armani Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2000 (the first sound installation in the New York Guggenheim's history) and the Guggenheim Bilbao in 2001. Subsequently the exhibition has traveled to the Neue National Galerie in Berlin in May 2003, followed by London’s Royal Academy of Arts in October 2003 and Rome at the Terme Diocleziano in May 2004. Other installations include the Swiss EXPO 2002, and the Basilique de Saint-Denis in Paris. Michael Galasso has also written and performed music for choreographers Karole Armitage, Andy DeGroat and Lucinda Childs.
Michael Galasso’s second album for ECM Records, “High Lines”, was released in March 2005.