Michael Coonrod has been a piano faculty member at the Interlochen Arts Academy for forty-one years. During this time, he has developed the potential in hundreds of students and has presented annual piano recital tours devoted to music with a central concept such as all-Schubert, Schumann, Bartók, Impressionistic, Russian, and Spanish-Latin American programs. In 1994, he presented twenty concerts of music by contemporary American composers culminating in Poland, where he performed and gave master classes at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and the Music Conservatory in Poznan. In August of 2009 and June of 2011, he appeared at the Qingdao Conservatory of Music in China as soloist, and then as a chamber recitalist with his wife Jean and colleagues David and Joan Holland. They gave several master classes for the students at the university and community. He also has been teaching at the FaceArt school in Shanghai. As well as serving as a faculty member at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, he is part of the artist/faculty at the Amalfi Coast Summer Music Festival in Miaori, Italy.
As soloist with orchestra, he performed Beethoven's Concerto No.4 with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Mozart's Concerto No. 14 with the Louisville String Orchestra, and Mozart’s two-piano concerto with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra in 2010. In the fall of 2012, he joined the Northwestern Michigan College Community Band in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. He also has performed for the American Liszt Society, the Eastman School of Music, the Michigan Music Teachers Association conventions, and in June of 2008 at the International Viola Congress.
His compact disc of music by the Michigan composer ALBERT FILLMORE was released in December of 2003 as a non-profit venture to build scholarships for composition students in Michigan. As an anthology of works for solo piano, voice, children's choir, and string orchestra with organ, this biography and recording includes six other artists from Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. His most recent recording is a two-CD collection of solo piano music by Franz Schubert.
His primary teacher and mentor was the Dutch pianist Lucien Hut, with whom he studied at the University of Montana, graduating with honors. He earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at The Peabody Conservatory of Music, part of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. His principal teacher there was Konrad Wolff, biographer of Arthur Schnabel, with additional coaching from George Walker and Leon Fleisher.
For eighteen summers, Dr. Coonrod was resident piano artist for "Music at Maple Mount, a Summer Institute for Young Musicians." In 1996, he was included by the Governor of Kentucky in the order of "Kentucky Colonels" for his outstanding contribution to education.
His wife Jean is a cello teacher at Interlochen. They have two sons--David a landscaper with two children, and Rob a singer/songwriter in Traverse City. Their daughter Michelline is a dancer in Las Vegas; she and her husband have two sons.