Michael Ibsen is a Canadian classical guitarist who performs a variety of music, re-imagining historic and new works on the instrument. He is also one half of Duo Tinúviel with soprano Jessica Türje, who work to share and explore the repertoire for voice and guitar. Michael fell in love with the classical guitar because of the variety of colours and textures available in its rich repertoire, and that’s what he strives to share with audiences around the world. Michael aims to expand the repertoire for the classical guitar, both through transcription and commissioning new music, which is why he gravitates especially towards modern, contemporary, and baroque music. Michael also became fascinated with the classical guitar repertoire because of the extraordinary amount of underrepresented works throughout its history, and he considers it his goal to expose more of this music to the public.
In September of 2019 Michael will be performing a tour of concerts in Ontario alongside the award-winning Canadian guitarist and composer Nathan Bredeson, where he will premiere new music he has commissioned within a program of all new Canadian music for guitar. ‘Sonata No. 1’ by Nathan Bredeson, written for Michael, is a large-scale multi-movement work which is an homage to Dmitri Shostakovich, and is the focal point of the tour, which will also feature new music dedicated to Michael by William Beauvais. Aside from their regular performances in the Netherlands, Duo Tinúviel will be going in July of 2019 to perform and take part in the Camino Artes Guitar workshop (run by Rene Izquierdo) in Carrion de los Condes, Spain.
Educated at the University of British Columbia (studying under Dr. Daniel Bolshoy), and now pursuing a Master of Music at Conservatorium Maastricht (studying with Carlo Marchione), he also holds qualifications from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada. Michael has studied and taken masterclasses with some of the world’s greatest classical guitarists including Thomas Viloteau, Bruce Holzman, Marcin Dylla, Judicael Perroy, Dale Kavanagh, and Denis Azabagic. He has performed as a soloist and chamber instrumentalist across Canada, the northwestern United States, and the Netherlands, and has been heard in solo recitals for guitar societies from Ottawa to Vancouver and the Tri-cities. He has been a concerto soloist with the Ambrose Chamber Orchestra and the Calgary Arts Orchestra, and has performed chamber music alongside artists such as Jonathan Crow and Joseph Johnson. His debut CD ‘Sketches’, recorded in 2015, includes new music written for Michael by Toronto-based composer William Beauvais. Michael has won prizes for his performance abilities including third prize in the 2015 National Music Festival of Canada, after winning first prizes in the local and provincial rounds, and second prize at the 2018 Northwest Guitar Festival.
Aside from his work as a performer and collaborator, Michael loves teaching and guiding his students. He has had multiple students who have won prizes in local competitions in Canada, as well as received honours marks for their exams with the Royal Conservatory of Music. He has held positions at the British Columbia Conservatory of Music (Burnaby), Mozart School of Music (Vancouver), Bravo School of Music (Vancouver), Vancouver International School of Music (Vancouver), and Chinook School of Music (Calgary). Michael currently lives and teaches through his own private studio in Utrecht, the Netherlands.