Michael W. Udow

Professor Emeritus of Music


Michael Udow has an expansive diversified career including the symphonic and opera repertories, contemporary solo and chamber music and composition. Udow served as principal percussionist with the Santa Fe Opera from 1968 through his retirement after the 2009 season.  His credentials also include being a member of the New Orleans Philharmonic, Summit Brass, the dance/percussion duo Equilibrium, the Tone Road Ramblers, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Galaxy Percussion Group, and numerous other chamber ensembles. Michael has also designed and manufactured innovative percussion instruments and accessories used by major orchestras, service bands, and percussionists throughout the world.

During the 2009–2010 season, Michael embarked on a two-month concert tour to Asia, which also included master classes, clinics, and multiple-week residencies at major conservatories in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo and Kagoshima, Japan; Shenyang, Beijing, and Shanghai, China; and Taipei, Taiwan.  Michael also performed his work Moon Shadows, for solo percussion and symphony band, with Professor Michael Haithcock and the University of Michigan Symphony Band, to whom the work is dedicated.

As a solo percussionist, Michael performed the roles of the Drummer/Madman in the American premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s We Come to the River for the Santa Fe Opera as well as the gypsy cimbalom soloist in Santa Fe’s production of Countess Maritza. Udow was soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic in the world premiere of David Felder’s Between for solo percussion and orchestra. He has performed as a soloist at Paris’s Dragon Center, Amsterdam’s Stedliejk Museum, Tokyo’s Interlink Festival, Düssledorf’s Rhine Music Festival, Salzburg’s Aspekte Festival, England’s Dartington Dance Festival, and Tübingen’s International Percussion Days.

Professor Udow has received grants from the Michigan Arts Alliance and the Michigan Council for the Arts. As performer and composer, Mr. Udow can be heard on the Columbia, Columbia/Denon, Forte Music, Advance, Opus One, CRI, Orion, New World, EQ and Einstein labels. Under his guidance, the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble has performed at Lincoln Center and Merkin Hall; Tokyo’s Seimei Hall with Pro Musica Nipponia; the National Concert Hall of Taiwan for the inaugural Taiwan International Percussion Festival; a three-week tour of Japan with Keiko Abe; and the Toyama Japan Festival.
Mr. Udow has taught and coordinated percussion at five of the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Banff, Canada and was a jury member and clinician at the International Marimba Competitions in Stuttgart (2) and Japan (2).