Michael Sikich, 29, is a versatile pianist, song recitalist, and repetiteur. A native of Santa Barbara, California, he has performed in the United States, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, and across the UK, most notably at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, LSO St.
Luke's, Cadogan Hall, Leeds Lieder Festival, St. Martin in the Fields, and on broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2018 in a recital of American music celebrating the centennial of Leonard Bernstein with mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta where he also gave the UK premiere of Bernstein’s unfinished work Conchtown for two pianos and percussion. He was later invited to perform with Wallis at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. They recorded an album of arias and songs together which will be released in the near future.
Michael joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2020, where he was employed for two seasons as a member of the music staff. He has worked as chief repetiteur on productions of Rigoletto, La Traviata, Tosca, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, and Otello with conductors Antonio Pappano, Antonello Manacorda, Oksana Lyniv, Dan Ettinger, Daniele Rustioni, and Constantin Trinks. Further projects at the Royal Opera House included an insights evening that he hosted with Michael Papadopoulos on Wagner's Ring Cycle as well as various song recitals and a production of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Stravinsky's Mavra with the Britten Sinfonia. He also performed as pianist in Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins and Mahagonny Songspiel alongside the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. He is currently based in Gothenburg, Sweden where he is a member of the music staff at the Gothenburg Opera (GöteborgsOperan). Projects for the current season in Gothenburg include Les contes d’Hoffmann, La Bohème, and Die Schweigsame Frau. He will also return to the Royal Opera this season as chief repetiteur for a production of Turandot under Antonio Pappano.
Michael was winner of the grand prize "Eugène Pannebakker Lied Duo Award" together with his duo partner Ema Nikolovska, mezzo-soprano, at the 53rd International Vocal Competition in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. He was invited with Ema to give a recital at the Opéra de Lyon and return to 's-Hertogenbosch for a recital in 2022. He is also a prizewinner of the International Helmut Deutsch Lied Competition and a recipient of the Somerset Song Prize for best pianist as well as the piano accompaniment prize from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, where he completed a postgraduate degree in piano accompaniment with Julius Drake and Peter Bithell on scholarship. He was a semifinalist at the 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition and was invited to perform in Graham Johnson's Song Guild. He played for the SongStudio programme at Carnegie Hall led by Renée Fleming and is a Samling Artist.
An active repetiteur and vocal coach, Michael has been invited to play for the Académie du Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as well as the Solti Accademia Répétiteur course in Venice. He worked on a production of Strauss’ Arabella at Oper Leipzig in Germany and has previously coached singers and played for productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and Trouble in Tahiti at the Music Academy of the West, Das Rheingold at the Dramatic Voices Program Berlin, and Die Zauberflöte and The Crucible at the Berlin Opera Academy.
Michael has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Franz Schubert Institute, the Banff Centre, and the PianoTexas International Academy, working with esteemed musicians including James Conlon, Marilyn Horne, Helmut Deutsch, Jerome Lowenthal, and Yoheved Kaplinsky. He earned his bachelor of music degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award under the instruction of Edward Auer. While at the Jacobs School, he performed with the Concert Orchestra and the IU Summer
Festival Orchestra as winner of two concerto competitions. In addition, he studied privately with the chorus master of Atlanta Opera, Walter Huff, in areas of accompanying and vocal coaching. In addition to earning a postgraduate degree at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Michael studied at the Kunstuniversität Graz in Austria with Julius Drake.
Venturing outside the realm of classical music, Michael was the bandleader/pianist for the jazz combo Cut Time, which performed throughout Southern California, and studied jazz piano with Professor Barry Green at the Guildhall School in London.