Pianist, composer and educator Mike Holober was trained as a classical pianist and conductor. While working his way through school as a busy accompanist and chamber musician he developed a growing passion for jazz. After coming to New York in 1986 Mike's growth as a jazz artist developed rapidly while working with some of the best young artists on the scene. Sought after for his sensitive and creative style and his intuitive approach to other composers' music, Mike can be heard on over 35 recordings as a sideman.
With his roots in classical and a solid apprenticeship on the New York jazz scene, Mike has evolved into a versatile composer and pianist, with a personal voice that is unique for its eclectic sources and high level of craft. As a composer he has created a diverse repertoire of works for jazz orchestra and small jazz groups, as well as works for symphony orchestra and chamber groups.
Mike's arrangements and compositions have been performed and/or recorded by The Vanguard Orchestra, The HR Big Band in Frankfort, The Gotham Wind Symphony, Westchester Jazz Orchestra, The Airmen Of Note, The Army Blues, Prism Saxophone Quartet, New York Saxophone Quartet, The Catskill Symphony Orchestra, The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, many New York City based small jazz groups, and student groups such as The Eastman Jazz Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Conservatory in Innsbruck, Austria. As a pianist he has performed and recorded with The Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, The Vanguard Orchestra, John Patitucci, The Tim Ries Rolling Stones Project, Nick Brignola, Jason Rigby, The Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra, Dave Pietro, Charles Pillow, John Abercrombie, Tim Hagans, Peter Erskine and many others.
Mike toured Venezuela as a Cultural Connect Envoy for the U. S. State Department (June 2005), playing concerts of his original works for jazz quintet and orchestra with symphonies in Merida, Maracaibo, Caracas, and Valencia. He remains active as a composer in the contemporary classical idiom with commissions for chamber works and he is currently composer in residence of the newly formed Gotham Wind Symphony (2004-present). As an assistant professor at The City College of NY (1995-present), Mike directs jazz ensembles and teaches courses in jazz composition and arranging, and a rhythm section seminar.
Mike recently accepted appointments as artistic director/conductor of Westchester Jazz Orchestra (Jan 2007), and assistant music director of the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop (Jan 2007).
Mike is a recent four-time MacDowell Fellow (2003-2006-Emily B. Crofts Fellow 2006), Ucross Foundation Fellow (2007), and Corporation of Yaddo Guest (2005). He currently holds a commission from The Philadelphia Museum of Art, funded by The Pew Charitable Trust and administered by the Philadelphia Music Project. This is for an extended work for The Gotham Jazz Orchestra to be premiered on February 8, 2008. Mike also currently holds commissions from the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the U.S. Army Jazz Knights and Westchester Jazz Orchestra.