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The first-generation American son of Brazilian immigrants, Michael Mardson McQuay is a native of Provo, Utah, although his performance career and music education have taken him to multiple locations around the globe. An active soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist, Michael has appeared in recital on three continents, including solo performances in France, Austria, Brazil, and throughout the United States. He has participated in extensive private study with the most world-renowned and distinguished artists and pedagogues including Angela Chang (Oberlin), Jeff Cohen (Manhattan), Alain Planes (Paris Conservatory), Alan Chow (Northwestern) Asaf Zohar (Tel Aviv University) and chamber music studies under prominent musicians including Janos Starker, Myron Bloom, Gary Arvin and Robert Harrison.
Michael was a prize winner in both national and international piano competitions including prizes at the Jefferson Symphony National Piano Competition, UV Symphony Concerto Competition, which included solo performances with the orchestra, and a 1st prize at the 2004 Gina Bachauer International Piano Ensemble Competition.
A Phi Kappa Phi graduate from Brigham Young University, Michael graduated magna cum laude in 2006 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance under the direction of Irene Peery-Fox, a mentor who has been involved in his musical training from a very young age. While at BYU he held the most prestigious of awards and scholarships including both a full-tuition academic scholarship and the C.H. Nye Piano Performance Scholarship and worked as part of the adjunct piano faculty.
In 2006 Michael was accepted to the world-renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and was offered both the prestigious Dean's Scholarship and an Associate Instructorship, the highest financial award offered to piano performance graduate students, which includes an appointment to the piano faculty. After graduating with a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance in 2008, Michael was one of only three students admitted to the reputable Doctor of Music in Piano Performance and Literature degree program at IU, considered to be one of the most extensive and respected doctoral programs in the nation. Since his arrival at Indiana, Michael has been a student of Distinguished Professor Menahem Pressler, founder of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio and revered pianist and pedagogue.
From 2008 to 2013, Michael served as Mr. Pressler's studio and teaching assistant and enjoys an extensive and active teaching career--carrying on the great Pressler pedagogical legacy--teaching both privately and at the university level. His students have been admitted to both undergraduate and graduate music performance programs throughout the United States and are frequent prize-winners in music competitions.
In fall of 2013, Michael accepted a piano professorship at Brigham Young University - Idaho and has relocated from Indiana to the Idaho Falls area where he currently resides with his wife, Alicia--a doctoral candidate in harp performance studying under Susann McDonald at the IU Jacobs School of Music and Adjunct Professor of Harp at BYU Idaho--their 2-year-old son, Max, and their new born daughter, Sonia.