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Bio:

Michael LaCroix's music has received awards in the SOCAN Foundation's Young Composers Competition in Canada (for his piano work, Potens Nuntius), in the Fourth International Prof. Ivan Spassov Composition Competition in Bulgaria (for Twelve Faces of the Emerald), and an SCI/ASCAP Regional Award (for A Presence Close as Breath).  His music has been featured in concerts, festivals, and workshops across North America, South America, and Europe, by such performers as: The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and conductor Cliff Colnot in Chicago and Minnesota; The Orchestre National de Lorraine and conductor Diego Masson in Metz, France as part of the Acanthes Festival; eighth blackbird in Chicago; The Windsor Symphony and composer/conductor Brian Current with a Commissioning of Canadian Compositions grant from the Canada Council for the Arts; Psappha as part of the St. Magnus Festival in Kirkwall, Scotland; mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley; soprano Tony Arnold; tenor Peter Tantsits; the FLUX Quartet at CAMI Hall in NYC; Masumi Per Rostad and Brandon Vamos of the Pacifica Quartet; actor Ofer Ravid; Aventa as part of the Ignite! Composers Workshop; pianist Lisa Kaplan at PianoForte Inc. in Chicago; by Detroit Symphony Orchestra pianist, Robert Conway in solo concerts in Detroit and Windsor, Canada, as well as part of a duo with Canadian pianist Catherine Wilson, commissioning a work for performances in Abbotsford, B.C., Toronto, Detroit, and Columbus, OH; the ensemble of the ARCANA Composers’ meeting in Capriolo, Italy; pianist Ciro Longobardi at the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte in Montepulciano, Italy; pianist Daniel Schlosberg in Chicago; Brazilian concert pianist Paulo Gazzañeo on two separate tours across South America; Third Angle New Music Ensemble in Portland, OR; Ensemble Green in California; by the composer as pianist at La Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, and at the Detroit International Jazz Festival; and others.

LaCroix earned the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Music Composition from the University of Chicago, and has held adjunct teaching positions in Canada at the University of Windsor, and in the USA at the Wheaton College Conservatory in Illinois. While in Residence at the University of Chicago, he taught courses in 18th Century Counterpoint, Intro to Composition, Aural Skills, and Harmony and Voice Leading under the guidance of theorists Lawrence Zbikowski and Steven Rings, after assisting both professors the previous year.

His principle advisors at the U of C were Marta Ptaszynska, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Shulamit Ran, and Howard Sandroff (electronic music), and additional composition studies were with Kotoka Suzuki, visiting professors, Elzbieta Sikora, and Jan Radzynski, and orchestration with Cliff Colnot.

LaCroix has also had short term studies or participated in master classes with internationally recognized composers: Salvatore Sciarrino, Lukas Foss, Fabio Nieder, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Alasdair Nicolson, Sally Beamish, Klaus Ib Jørgensen, Michel Gonneville, Michèle Reverdy, Noël Lee, Leslie Bassett, Narcis Bonet, and Philip Lasser.

Additionally, LaCroix holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media from Wayne State University in Detroit where his main mentors included Matt Michaels and Chris Collins (jazz improvisation and arranging), James Hartway (composition), Robert Conway (piano), and Kypros Markou and James Lentini (conducting and orchestration). As a student at WSU, LaCroix served as Teaching Assistant in the entire sequence of music theory courses offered at the school, as well as in courses in piano skills and jazz combo performance.

Recently relocated to Montréal (after more than a decade in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago), Dr LaCroix and his wife Elizabeth maintain a studio of private students in piano, composition, guitar, music theory, and chamber music.

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