Artistic Director & Pianist
Philadelphia-based pianist and vocal coach Michael Lewis is a renowned collaborator known for his exciting interpretations and mastery of a multitude of styles. In 2021 he joins the faculty of Academy of Vocal Arts as a vocal coach and collaborative pianist. At Temple University, and University of Pennsylvania he serves as a vocal coach and music director of opera workshop courses.
In 2019, Michael formed Aural Compass Projects, a non-profit music organization dedicated to performing new and less-performed works. ACP strives to develop a moral compass that guides their work in aspiring towards equality and better representation in the music industry. During the 2020-2021 season the organization shifted its focus more towards education using the digital platform. They produced We, Too, Sing America, a 13-episode educational series on the work and lives of African-American composers of song. Starting in 2021 they will be engaging with the greater Philadelphia area for in-person performances including solo vocal recitals, collaborative projects, and commission premieres in addition to the continuation of their digital content. Michael serves as the Artistic Director of Aural Compass Projects.
Michael earned a Masters of Music degree from Arizona State University in collaborative piano under the guidance of Russell Ryan where he won the Concert of Soloists competition with Robert Muczynski’s Piano Concerto. He is also an alumna of the Ithaca College School of Music where he studied vocal performance as a baritone in the studio of Dr. David Parks. Previous appointments include Vocal Coach and Repetiteur on productions at Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Portland Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, and Tri-Cities Opera, Chorus Master at Arizona MusicFest and Tri-Cities Opera, and Assistant Music Director in the Marion Roose Pullin Studio at Arizona Opera.
An enthusiastic recitalist, Michael has established a collaborative relationship with many singers performing with Aural Compass Projects, El Paso Opera’s Giving Voice Recital Series, Opera Saratoga’s America Sings Recital Series, and Aspen Music Festival. In addition to vocal collaboration, Michael collaborates with smaller and larger chamber groups ranging from duos, trios, and quartets to work with orchestras like Albany Symphony and Aspen Chamber Symphony, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.