Michael Dauphinais has been hailed in the press as “a marvelous collaborative pianist” (ITEA Journal), and has garnered praise for his “superbly realized continuo” (Arizona Republic) as well as his live renditions of orchestral reductions: “pianist Michael Dauphinais enables one to forget the lack of an orchestra almost immediately” (Newark Star-Ledger). His versatility as a pianist, coach, conductor, and chorus master has led to his work with many regional U.S. opera companies including Tulsa Opera, Sarasota Opera, San Diego Opera, New Jersey Opera Theater, Arizona Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Kentucky Opera, Opera New Jersey, and Alamo City Opera. He recently conducted Daniel Catán’s La hija de Rappaccini in a collaboration between the University of Arizona and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City. In November of 2019, he will conduct the North American premiere of “Rhondda Rips it Up!” (by composer Elena Langer and librettist Emma Jenkins) at the University of Arizona.
An advocate of contemporary music and multi-disciplinary collaboration, Michael Dauphinais has played music by John Cage with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and has also collaborated with choreographer Yanira Castro, Art.If.Act Dance Project and ACME (Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble). As an electro-acoustic improvisor, he has played in various Tucson venues such as Chax Press, Casa Libre en la Solana, Galactic Center, ZUZI Dance, Exploded View Microcinema and FLUXX. His solo electronic work has been published online by textsound. He has performed several premieres of works for piano and live electronics by Stephan Moore, and recently played an evening of Moore’s works at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He has also been featured in symposia at The University of Arizona celebrating the music of Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Olivier Messiaen, George Crumb, Béla Bartók, Claude Debussy, Daniel Asia, and Robert Beaser. Dauphinais also played numerous iterations of the site-specific dance and sound installation Wilderness with sound artist/composer Stephan Moore and choreographer Yanira Castro and company, which was premiered at the 2010 Filament Festival at EMPAC (Troy, NY); further performances occurred at Vanderbilt University, Franklin and Marshall College (PA), and at The Invisible Dog Art Center (Brooklyn, NY). He has also collaborated with Moore and Castro in Paradis, the first site-specific dance installation ever performed in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the summers of 2011 and 2012; a further iteration took place in 2013 in Chicago’s Grant Park Conservatory. In 2016, he played a program of music for piano and electronics by women entitled “Women’s Work,” featuring compositions by Missy Mazzoli, Eve Beglarian, Caroline Park, and Alexandra Gardner. He performed a set of music by Alvin Lucier for the 2017 Tucson Noise Festival, and in early 2020 he will play live electro-acoustic accompaniment to three silent Buster Keaton films as part of the Camil Van Hulse Salon Series in Tucson, Arizona.
Dauphinais is a public radio veteran, having served as an announcer, production assistant, audio editor, arts features producer, and writer for various public radio stations including WMUK (Kalamazoo), KBAQ and KJZZ (Phoenix), as well as KUAT and KUAZ (Tucson) between 1993 and 2011.
Michael Dauphinais earned degrees in music from Western Michigan University (BM) and Arizona State University (MM and DMA); his teachers have included Andrew Campbell, Eckart Sellheim, Sylvia Roederer and Phyllis Rappeport. He currently serves on the faculty at The University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music, where he teaches solo and collaborative piano and is the vocal coach for UA Opera Theater; he is also the Principal Pianist and Vocal Coach at Opera Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a frequent substitute pianist for the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and he is the principal pianist for the Grammy-nominated True Concord Voices & Orchestra. Dauphinais is also a member of the opera coaching faculty for the American Institute for Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. He is the music director for Passion Project: Opera! and also serves as the artistic director for the Camil Van Hulse Salon Series.