Michael G. Cunningham was born in Warren MI in 1937 and holds music degrees from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, and Indiana University. After limited teaching appointments at four different universities, he remained Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire from 1973 to 2006. Since 1958 Cunningham has created a large catalog of various types of music for all manner of performer combinations and situations. Nine previous albums of mostly orchestral works performed by European orchestras are currently available from Navona Records: Indiana Collectanea, Ecumenical Spirit, WISDOM LOVE ETERNITY, PARAGONIA, SONIC FLIGHT, COLONNADE, GALLERY, AN ARC OF QUARTETS, and MEZZANINE SEAT. Information on his various music theory and composition textbooks can be found on his website: scoredreamer.com

Albums

Proscenium Moments

Release Date: November 20, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6314
20th Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
Michael G. Cunningham and Navona Records present PROSCENIUM MOMENTS, a highly challenging collection of Cunningham's orchestral compositions. Nestled in style between early Prokofiev and late Shostakovich, this particular selection of recordings provides a bird's eye view of Cunningham's catalogue.
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Dimensions Vol. 3

Release Date: September 11, 2020
Catalog Number: nv6311
21st Century
Orchestral
Flute
Orchestra
The third installment in Navona Records’ series for orchestra is here: DIMENSIONS VOL 3, featuring the work of contemporary composers Michael G. Cunningham, Andre’ Godsey, Miguel Matamoro, Paul Osterfield, and Eric Simonson. Harnessing the power of a concert hall full of virtuosos performing original compositions from today’s composers, DIMENSIONS VOL 3 packs a powerful punch.
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Three Theatre Pieces and Chopin

Release Date: April 24, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6272
21st Century
Orchestral
Stage Works
Orchestra
Saxophone
Wind Ensemble
Longtime Navona Records artist Michael G. Cunningham showcases his penchant for storytelling on THREE THEATRE PIECES AND CHOPIN, an album rife with theatrical wonders that delight both the ears and the imagination.
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Indiana Collectanea

Release Date: February 14, 2020
Catalog Number: NV6270
20th Century
Chamber
Solo Instrumental
Percussion
Piano
Trombone
Navona Live is proud to announce the release of INDIANA COLLECTANEA, which celebrates and preserves composer Michael G. Cunningham’s residency at Indiana University School of Music from 1969-1973. This live recording of Cunningham’s work comes on the heels of his acclaimed album ECUMENICAL SPIRIT from Navona Live earlier this year. This latest release captures a significant moment in time, when Cunningham’s work helped channel the talents of 30 burgeoning musicians.
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Ecumenical Spirit

Release Date: April 26, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6222
21st Century
Liturgical
Vocal Music
Choir
Composer Michael G. Cunningham introduces the beauty of sacred choral compositions with the unique energy of the live recording. “Ecumenical” is defined as the promotion of unity among different Christian churches across the world, and ECUMENICAL SPIRIT celebrates the unifying powers of music as it transcends the borders of all differences.
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Beneath the Tide

Release Date: March 8, 2019
Catalog Number: NV6216
21st Century
Concertos
Orchestral
Clarinet
Guitar
String Orchestra
PARMA Recordings, together with the esteemed Croatian Chamber Orchestra, is proud to release BENEATH THE TIDE, a reflection on human emotion and experience through a collection of five concertos. As the title suggests, BENEATH THE TIDE looks under the surface, examining underlying human realities that rise to the surface with the arrival of life’s changes.
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Mezzanine Seat

Release Date: October 12, 2018
Catalog Number: NV6186
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
In MEZZANINE SEAT, Cunningham exhibits a mastery over all aspects of the orchestra, filling out every bit of space with breathtaking melody and harmony. The arrangements emote a sophistication that echoes J.S. Bach, one of Cunningham’s greatest inspirations. In the three-part composition Bach Diadem, Cunningham pays tribute to the famed composer and incorporates 18th-century orchestral influence in his compositions.
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An Arc of Quartets

Release Date: March 10, 2017
Catalog Number: NV6081
20th Century
Chamber
String Quartet
As the title of this album suggests, AN ARC OF QUARTETS gives listeners unique access to a continuum of composer Michael G. Cunningham’s intricate and inviting string music. Five international string ensembles present the album’s seven compositions, including Sirius Quartet from New York; The Moravian Quartet from the Czech Republic; the Millennium Quartet from Florida; and The Pedroia Quartet and New England String Quartet, both from Massachusetts.
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Wisdom-Love-Eternity

Release Date: February 12, 2016
Catalog Number: NV6027
21st Century
Liturgical
Vocal Music
Choir
On his latest release on Navona Records, WISDOM-LOVE-ETERNITY, composer Michael G. Cunningham presents a collection of his choral works, performed by the Kühn Choir of Prague conducted by Marek Vorlíček, which explore the spiritual element of the human condition, addressing the uncertainty of death, the inexpressible emotion of love, and humans’ search for an understanding of God.
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Paragonia

Release Date: November 11, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5982
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
Piano
Trumpet
On his latest Navona Records release, PARAGONIA, composer Michael G. Cunningham explores ways in which the orchestra can interact with itself on several levels. Counter Currents presents contrary phrases and themes simultaneously stated while TransActions portrays dimensions of density, emphasizing orchestral blur and presenting gestures and passages that prompt interplay between the sections of the orchestra.
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Sonic Flight

Release Date: March 1, 2014
Catalog Number: NV5946
Classical
Orchestral
Orchestra
This 2014 reissue of Michael Cunningham's SONIC FLIGHT showcases six works for orchestra that effectively illustrate the composer's adeptness at creating compelling large-scale compositions and presenting them through adroit, inspired orchestration techniques. The Violin Concerto is a vigorous, energetic exploration of the instrument's capabilities, pitting the soloist against an orchestra that seeks to both support and contrast in its accompaniment.
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Voices Of Earth And Air

Release Date: July 1, 2013
Catalog Number: NV5923
21st Century
Vocal Music
Choir
The poet has long been considered a vehicle for expressing human thought and emotion through literary device, setting the seemingly indescribable to text, offering direction to the enamored and forlorn alike. The human voice adds a new element to the text, providing an additional level of complexity and expressiveness.
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Gallery

Release Date: November 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5893
20th Century
Orchestral
Stage Works
Orchestra
GALLERY is a collection of works by composer Michael G. Cunningham, containing three of his narrative ballets and the Gastein Masterwork. The ballets Nyadina, based on a Balanchine film ballet; She, based on the 1887 Haggard novel; and Chrysalis at Mardi Gras, based on the Saint Joseph story resembling Cinderella contain a narrative, choreographic flow with emotional and fable-like undertones.
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Quadrants

Release Date: September 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5883
21st Century
Chamber
String Quartet
With QUADRANTS, Navona presents a collection of modern string quartets that meld the old with the new, combining traditional forms with contemporary influences to present expressive, emotional works that both make and break the mold. QUADRANTS features the contemporary works of Marie Incontrera, Michael Cunningham, Alan Beeler, Ulf Grahn, and Virgil Thomson performed by the Boston String Quartet, the New England String Quartet, the Moravian Philharmonic Chamber Players, and the Boston Composers String Quartet.
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Continuum

Release Date: November 1, 2010
Catalog Number: NV5836
21st Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
CONTINUUM features the modern orchestral works of Stephen "Lucky" Mosko, Tim Sullivan, Dan Crozier, and Michael G. Cunningham. From Mosko is the premier recording of Transliminal Music, one of only three of the composer's orchestral works. From Sullivan is Polychrome, a piece based in instrumental colors that finds the perfect balance between experimentalism and accessibility. From Crozier is Fairy Tale, an "opera scene without words" that explores the narrative power of music. From Cunningham is TransActions, which is driven by actions, gestures, and lines on one orchestra level bringing about reactions on other levels.
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Colonnade

Release Date: October 1, 2009
Catalog Number: NV5819
20th Century
Orchestral
Orchestra
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