Michael Bussewitz-Quarm specializes in choral works commissioned by consortia concerned with social and environmental issues. Newly published by Peermusic Classical and recently awarded a performance in the International Society of Contemporary Music’s New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver, BC, Bussewitz-Quarm was named a Finalist for The American Prize in the category of choral music composition, with the distinction of Honorary Mention for “My Name is Lamiya: Don’t Call Me ‘Refugee’,” and in 2020 for “Only Time to Love: Gaaggee Zaag’aa”. She is currently welcoming choirs to her Peacebomb choral consortium, a collaboration with lyricist, Anthony Silvestri, the Brooklyn-based jewelry company, Article 22, and Mine Advisory Group (M.A.G.). Launching for the 2020-21 choral season are the Quarantine Choral Consortiums, each providing an “Online to Live” choral experience for choirs of all ages.
Recent works include the commissioned work “The Radium Girl,” “Nigra Sum,” and the large scale choral work, The Unarmed Child. She has also recently completed commissions by the New Hampshire Master Chorale for “Windshear,” Manchester Choral Society for “Quem Vidistis Pastores.”, as well as Omaha Children’s Choir, “This is Note a Drill”, and Central Bucks High School-West for “I’m Not Lost”. In the spring of 2020, Bussewitz-Quarm was to attend a premiere of “The World, This Wall, and Me”, commissioned by Ithaca College about her journey through gender transition.
The cornerstone work of her catalog, Requiem Dies Magna, was composed with the intention of healing and to honor the first responders and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. It has grown to speak to those who have survived the loss of a loved one. and the complex stages of grief and path to finding peace. Choral compositions include settings to poems as diverse as those by Eugene Field (“The Duel” of gingham dog and calico cat fame), Robert Frost (“The Pasture” and “The Road Not Taken”) and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (“Daybreak” and “The Rainy Day”).
Originally from Long Island, New York, Bussewitz-Quarm grew up playing baritone saxophone and accompanying and singing with the school chorus. She attended Ithaca College (BM ’94), for piano performance and music education, and received her Masters of Music from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queen’s College, City University of New York. She is active in advocating for the transgender community. “It is my fervent wish to spread knowledge and understanding of the transgender community through guest speaking and by simply being present in the lives of the talented musicians and artists surrounding me.”