Michael Eckert (b. 1950) studied composition with John Richard Ronsheim at Antioch College, and with Ralph Shapey at the University of Chicago, receiving an M.A. in music history and theory in 1975 and the Ph.D. in composition in 1977. Before coming to Iowa in 1985 he taught at Colorado State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University, and Antioch College. His awards for composition include the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, a Charles E. Ives Scholarship from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year award. He has been a fellow at the Charles Ives Center for American Music, and the Wellesley Composers Conference.
In 2006 Eckert’s Vamp for string orchestra was a finalist selection in the “Homage to Mozart” International Competition for Composers in Moscow held by Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, which performed it in Moscow and New York. His Echo’s Song won second prize in the 2006 New York Virtuoso Singers Choral Composition Competition. In October 2006 his Wind Quintet was premiered by the Iowa Woodwind Quintet at a concert celebrating the 100 th anniversary of the School of Music; their recording is on the Albany Records CD TROY956. Echo’s Song and the instrumental sextet Point of No Return (2003) are recorded on Albany Records TROY900. In 2007 he wrote Three Chôros and Three Pieces in Brazilian Style for clarinet and piano at the invitation of UI professor of clarinet Maurita Murphy Mead [Marx].
As a music historian and theorist Eckert has published articles on the music of the Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola in Perspectives of New Music, The Music Review, and Studi Musicali. He re ceived a Fulbright Junior Fellowship to Italy and a National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collections grant to research Dallapiccola's manuscripts. He also has a longstanding interest in Renaissance music, having written conference papers on the music of Johannes Ockeghem (d. 1497), and directed the UI Collegium Musicum from 1993 to 1995.