Harpsichordist & Conductor, Michael Thomas Asmus, is currently studying at Stony Brook University for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Harpsichord Performance with Arthur Haas. As a conductor, he has been praised as a “conscientious [conductor]” with “a natural talent” and “a bright future” by audiences and ensembles alike. He has been lauded as a “versatile” continuo player (CNVC.org) with “judicious, rhythmically supple harpsichord playing” (Star Tribune). He is consistently lauded by his colleagues as a great musical collaborator.
Recent musical engagements have seen him as a participant as a guest musician with the Rose Ensemble and as a conductor at the International Conducting Workshop and Festival in Lviv Ukraine where he led the Lviv Philharmonic in concert. He frequently plays continuo in many student recitals and he has been a student conductor and the continuo player for the annual Messiah Sing-along at the Staller Center Recital Hall at Stony Brook.
He has previously been the assistant conductor for Stony Brook Opera’s production of Benjamin Britten’s Rape of Lucretia (2017) and the Stony Brook Opera’s/Stony Brook Baroque Players’ production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Pygmalion (2018). He made his international debut as a harpsichordist and continuo player in March 2017 at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla in Ciudad de Puebla, México playing a concert of Renaissance-, Baroque-, and Classical-era music with cellist Eduardo Carpinteyro and violinist Saúl Rodríguez.
In 2019 he made his Opera NEO (San Diego) debut as the Assistant Conductor and Vocal Coach for their production of Francesco Cavalli’s La Calisto. He was scheduled to return in 2020 as the Assistant Conductor and Vocal Coach for Opera NEO’s production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Platée. The performance was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Since June 2011, Michael has acted as the Music and Artistic Director of La Grande Bande, a non-profit, period instrument orchestra and chorus he founded in the same year. La Grande Bande produced its first full concert series for the 2019-2020 season. You can find out more about La Grande Bande here.
Michael is also a founding partner for Agricultural Innovations, LLC a family-owned organic fertilizer business based in Minnesota. You can find out more by visiting www.highislandorganics.com or finding them on Facebook @HighIslandOrganics. He is a graduate of Sibley East High School (Arlington, MN) and Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organ Performance. He completed his Master of Music degree at Stony Brook in 2017. He currently resides in Gaylord, MN.