Michael Unterman enjoys an active performing career on both modern and baroque cellos. He is a core member of the self-directed string chamber orchestra A Far Cry and serves as principal cellist of Boston Baroque, earning Grammy nominations with both groups in 2019.
In September 2019, Michael began in a new role as Artistic Director of Five Boroughs Music Festival, a concert series presenting a wide range of world-class chamber music in venues throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Michael cut his teeth in concert programming and production through his work with A Far Cry, whose members act as co-artistic directors. As a frequent curator and production lead, his projects have been praised as “just the kind of imaginative artistic agenda that more groups should be prodded to try” (The Boston Globe), “the way good programming should proceed” (Arts Fuse), and “gorgeous and remarkably unified” (Washington Post). Underpinning this support work is a motivation to create nurturing environments for music and musicians, something instilled by many of his early mentors, including his cello teacher Judy Fraser, quartet coach Heilwig von Koenigslow, his mother and pianist-collaborator Kathy Bjorseth, and Tom and Isobel Rolston, former directors of the Banff Centre where Michael spent many a formative week.
Michael has also performed recently with Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Quodlibet Ensemble, at the Washington National Cathedral, and at the Birdfoot Chamber Music Festival in New Orleans and Staunton Music Festival in Virginia. As a cellist who enjoys a wide variety of musical roles, Michael has received critical praise for his “soulful and sultry solos,” “nuanced, sensitive, and wholly gorgeous collaboration” (Classical Scene), and “heroic continuo” accompaniment (Parterre Box). He has earned degrees from the New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School, studying with Laurence Lesser, Natasha Brofsky, and Phoebe Carrai, and was also a Fulbright Scholar to Barcelona in 2008-09, where he studied with Lluis Claret and the Quartetto Casals.