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’.” She is currently welcoming choirs to her Peacebomb choral consortium, a collaboration with lyricist, Anthony Silvestri, the jewelry company, Article 22, and Mine Advisory Group (M.A.G.).
Recent works include the commissioned work “The Radium Girl,” “Nigra Sum,” and the large scale choral work, The Unarmed Child. In April of 2019, Michael 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!.” She is currently under commission by the New Hampshire Master Chorale for “Windshear,” Manchester Choral Society for “Quem Vidistis Pastores.”, as well as Omaha Children’s Choir and Ithaca College for yet to be named choral works.
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. Michael 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.”