Michael Bussewitz-Quarm is one of America’s most recent emerging composers, specializing 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 has been 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’.”
Recent works include the commissioned work “The Radium Girl,” “Nigra Sum,” and the large scale choral work, The Unarmed Child. In April of 2019, he completed commissions by Women’s Voices Chorus of Chapel Hill, NC. for “Only Time to Love: Gaaggee Zaag’aa” and The First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh with Calvary United Methodist Church for the former’s 125th anniversary celebration, titled “Awake!.” He is currently under commission by the New Hampshire Master Chorale for “Windshear,” and the Manchester Choral Society for “Quem Vidistis Pastores.”
The cornerstone work of his 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-Quarml grew up playing baritone saxophone and ccompanying and singing with the school chorus. He attended Ithaca College (BM ’94), for piano performance and music education, and received his Masters of Music from the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queen’s College, City University of New York. He 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.”