Michael Starke's fascination with Baroque music began in middle school, where, as a bassist in the orchestra, he was introduced to the cult classic record Switched-On Bach. In due time, Michael was making trips to local university libraries, which proved to be fertile grounds for Baroque orchestral scores. Following a time-honoured tradition, Michael would copy and make arrangements of these works--a habit that inevitably influenced the character of the original music he would later write.

While at college in the 1970s, he regularly organised concerts of Baroque music in a variety of venues. It was during this period that Michael discovered the recorder and was inspired to write a concerto for that instrument mimicking the style of Antonio Vivaldi. Michael joined the U. S. Air Force in the late 1970s and while stationed in Japan, he participated in a number of local music festivals and played his own compositions during church services broadcast over Armed Forces Radio.

In 1996, he was contacted by early music scholar and fellow composer Giorgio Pacchioni after posting work on an Internet newsgroup. Michael was working on a recorder concerto at the time and, of that initial exchange, he says, "Thanks to Giorgio, that was really the first concerto I wrote based on the actual Baroque form. He had many very good instructive suggestions".

It was also around this time that Michael heard from a young Mark Moya, who was seeking input on his own compositions. Michael reviewed his work and made suggestions for revisions demonstrating various aspects of counterpoint and harmony.

Citing G. P. Telemann as the "hero of all recorder players", Michael's music recalls the delightful elegance of that master's work; its chiaroscuro texture and distinctive rhythmic drive are often suggestive of Vivaldi. He has composed music for numerous websites and videos, an educational computer game, and a National Geographic production. Originally from Long Beach, California, Michael lives with his wife Amy and their two sons in Portland, Oregon.


Download music score:

Trio Sonata in d minor (for two violins and basso continuo)


Download sample works:

Fugue on two leitmotifs from Das Rheingold (2004)  Trio Sonata in d minor (2001) - I. Allegro II. Largo III. Fuga breve