An exciting cellist exploring various facets of the classical music scene, Michael Kaufman was the soloist for the opening of the renovated Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater and has performed at prestigious venues such as Zankel and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. Concerto performances include works by Tchaikovsky, Haydn, and Gulda and chamber music engagements have taken him across the States and Western Europe. Michael has participated in several important chamber music festivals including Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, Yellow Barn, Music@Menlo, and Verbier. Important performances include chamber music concerts with Midori, Brett Dean's 12 Angry Men in Disney Hall at the Piatigorsky Festival, the premiere of a concerto written by Daniel Silliman with the USC Symphony, and a month-long engagement playing principal cello of La Monnaie in Brussels. Last season, he performed the Saint-Saëns Concerto with the Saddleback symphony and premiered a concerto by USC Faculty Composer Sean Friar with the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
Michael is the founder and co-director of the LA-based Sunset ChamberFest and the cello quintet SAKURA. He earned his Master's and Doctorate from the University of Southern California and his Bachelor's from Eastman. Michael's principal teachers have been Ralph Kirshbaum, Steven Doane, and Alison Wells; he has also received valuable guidance from Steven Isserlis, Robert Levin, Thomas Adès, and David Geringas.