Pianist and teacher, Michael Sommerville began studying music at the age of nine. Under the guidance of Coquitlam-based teacher April Smith, his love and passion for music quickly blossomed. Michael completed his Associate Diploma in Piano Performance through Conservatory Canada, receiving an award for the top mark in the country. He continued his education at Douglas College then later at the University of British Columbia, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. Michael’s teachers have included some of Vancouver’s leading musicians - Ellen Silverman, Dr. Terence Dawson, Rena Sharon and Dr. Patricia Hoy. As a student, he often took part in masterclasses, working with world-renowned concert pianists suchs as Stephen Hough, Janina Fialkowska, Margaret Fingerhut and William Aide.
On the concert stage, Michael has appeared both as a soloist as well as a chamber musician, feeling equally at home in both settings. With eclectic tastes, his repertoire is diverse and ranges from Bach to Bernstein. Michael holds particular interest in exploring and playing music which is not often performed, whether it be underappreciated, little-known works by famous composers, or works by obscure composers.
Michael began teaching in 2002 and has maintained a successful studio ever since. He is an incredibly passionate and dedicated teacher and in addition to teaching piano, he also specializes in music theory and history. Michael’s students consistently achieve top marks on their piano, history and theory exams and are often among the top performers in music festivals. In 2008, he was chosen as a recipient of the Tom and Miggsie Lawson National Teachers’ Travel & Study Scholarship, which is awarded to Conservatory Canada’s top teachers. Having been exposed to a number of different teaching styles in his studies, Michael takes a unique, highly personalized approach to teaching which has proven to be extremely successful among his students.