Michael Henson is a composer and clarinetist from Texas. He is not related to Jim Henson or the former CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Michael Henson (b.1988, Dallas) was raised in Mesquite, TX, where he was inspired by Robin Williams to become a voice actor. After spending a handful of years in private school, he began attending public school in 5th grade after his 4th grade teacher suggested he be "put on medication." While the other kids picked on him for being "too smart" (the large, 1980s-like glasses didn't help), he managed to make friends. At one point, he managed to pass a grading period without turning in his Egyptian pyramid project.
When it came time to enter middle school, he decided to participate in the McDonald Middle School Band and had to choose between his father's trumpet and his mother's clarinet. He made a choice and the rest wasn't history because it hadn't happened yet (Although it is history now. Time is strange like that.).
Michael has been commissioned by the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Butler Symphony Orchestra, and violist Lauren Perala. Upcoming projects include a chamber work based on the painting Dai Heigen (Green Plains) by artist Tawara Yusaku, and Torii for a Japan earthquake/tsunami victims memorial concert. He has also been featured as a guest composer at Clarke University.
As a performer, Michael Has played with the Butler Symphony Orchestra, Butler Ballet Orchestra, Butler Composer's Orchestra, Butler Wind Ensemble, Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra, Texas All-State Symphonic Band, and the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band. As an active chamber musician, he has played recitals and concerts in Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas. He has also participated in masterclasses with Mary Alice Druhan, Gregory Oakes, Gregory Raden, Jon Manasse, and Frank Kowalsky.
A firm believer in the composer/performer duality, Michael has commissioned works from numerous composers. He has also premiered several chamber works by Phillip Schroeder, some of which he has recorded for Schroeder's 2011 disc Passage Through a Dream.
In the Spring of 2013, Michael conducted the Butler Symphony Orchestra in a premiere of his own work We Didn't See Them as Humans. In addition to his work as assistant conductor of the Butler Symphony and the Butler Ballet Orchestra, he has appeared as a conductor at the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival and Henderson State University.
Michael earned a Master of Music in Composition at Butler University, where he studied composition with Michael Schelle and conducting with Richard Auldon Clark. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Henderson State University, where he studied composition with Phillip Schroeder and clarinet with Steve Becraft. He has had additional composition studies with film composer Christopher Young, Rocky Reuter, Nat Evans, Mark Snyder, Steve Bryant, and Zae Munn.
He currently resides in Plano, TX, where he teaches clarinet and colorguard, reads prose and poetry, contemplates human nature, and expands his knowledge of the cosmos. He is not related to Jim Henson or the former CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Commission: Torii, for chamber ensemble
Commission: Dai Heigen, for the Manhattan
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble
New York, NY
Chamber ensemble and electronics