Michael Ferri

Lauded for their “fine bow control and excellent intonation” (Cleveland Classical), violinist enthralls listeners with their “style and vivacity,” and an Michael Ferri exploratory method of creating music that provokes thought and introspection. As they forge a dynamic career spanning the solo, chamber, and orchestral realms, Michael regularly appears on the national stage to critical acclaim. 

Ferri is first prize winner of the Mika Hasler Young Artist Competition, the Shepherd School of Music Concerto Competition, and the Duquesne Young Artists National Competition, second prize laureate of the Luigi Zanuccoli International Violin Competition, fourth prize laureate of the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition, and was recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award in 2010. Michael has appeared as soloist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia, the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, and many regional orchestras across Northeast Ohio.

A first-generation Italian-American, Michael was born in Treviglio (BG), Italy in 1995, and began learning violin in the suzuki method at age three. At twelve they entered the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Paul Kantor and Jaime Laredo, and graduated from the school’s prestigious Young Artist Program in 2013.

Continuing their studies with Kantor in Houston, Michael was recipient of the Itzhak Perlman Endowed Scholarship in Violin at the Shepherd School of Music - Rice University. Michael also worked with Kenneth Goldsmith, Larry Rachleff, Virginia Weckstrom, Norman Fischer, Ivo van der Werff, and Jon Kimura Parker, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance, with Distinction in Research & Creative Works.

Subsequently, Michael attained both the Master of Music in Violin and Master of Musical Arts degrees under Ani Kavafian at the Yale School of Music, graduating with honors. During this time Michael also worked with Mark Steinberg, Nina Lee, Paul Watkins, and Boris Berman. Inspired by studies with the Cavani Quartet in high school, Michael has been a devoted chamber musician throughout their career, and as first violinist of The Kamila Quartet, appeared at Da Camera of Houston, Chamber Music Houston, the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, and the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute.

Formed in 2021 under the auspices of the Yale School of Music, Trio Ondata is a daily source of inspiration and companionship, and is Michael’s most dedicated ambition. The Trio is 2nd Prize laureate of the 2022 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, winner of the 2022 Yale School of Music Chamber Music Competition, and one of two groups invited to compete in the final round of the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition in Ohio, April 2023. The Trio’s summer engagements include the Emerging Artist residency at Mimir Music Festival, a residency exploring contemporary electroacoustic piano trio repertoire at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute, and multiple recitals at venues across New Haven. Highlights of the recent season include the Trio’s New York City debut as part of the concert series Piano Evenings with David Dubal, and a recital sponsored by the Evergreen Woods Evening Concerts Chamber Series.

Across the ten summers Michael spent there as a full scholarship student, the Aspen Music Festival and School provided Michael a profound and multifaceted experience that was crucial in their development as a musician. Over this time Michael shared the stage with countless conductors, instrumentalists, and singers from the international circuit. Michael studied with Paul  Kantor, and appeared in master classes for Donald Weilerstein, Sylvia Rosenberg, James Dunham, David Finckel, David Halen, and Robert Lipsett. While attending the AMFS Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, Michael worked intensively with the Pacifica, American, Escher, and Jupiter String Quartets.

Beyond the festival scene, Michael has extensive experience in the orchestral realm, having served for close to a decade as Concertmaster of the Chagrin Valley Little Theater Orchestra (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), and having played in nearly every regional orchestra in Northeast Ohio and Connecticut’s Gold Coast.

Michael also takes a keen interest in conducting, and recently made their debut leading the Yale School of Music’s contemporary ensemble Versicolor in a performance of the Double Sextet by Steve Reich.

All accolades aside: Michael operates on the tenet that to make music means to create an inclusive space, to convene and collaborate, and to forge something deeply meaningful together that could not possibly be created apart. If you feel inclined to do so, please feel free to reach out to the artist, whether in person or by correspondence.

Michael plays on a contemporary violin by his friend Jan H. van Rooyen, 2007 - modeled after the “Vieuxtemps” Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú, 1741, and a contemporaneous copy of a Jacobus Stainer, c. 1680, ex-Eugène Ysaÿe.