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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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GILBERTSON, Michael. (Dubuque, IA-- ). In 2010 Gilbertson, a 2006 graduate of STEPHEN HEMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL, graduated from The Juilliard School, the prestigious New York City school of music. His notable teachers have included Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, George Tsontakis, Robert X. Rodriguez, and Michel Merlet. In addition to studies at Juilliard, Michael was also a student at Columbia University, where his areas of academic interest included Philosophy of History and Intellectual History.

Gilbertson’s works have been performed by ensembles including The Juilliard Orchestra, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Cedar Rapids Symphony, the Dubuque Symphony, the Flint Symphony, the Rockford Symphony, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, the Galesburg Symphony, and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. His commissioned works have premiered at many notable venues including the Klementinum in Prague and at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Gilbertson’s music has earned wide recognition. He received awards from ASCAP in 2006, 2007, and 2009 and a major scholarship from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in 2006. In May, 2009, Gilbertson was the youngest artist to be honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters where he was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship. His work, titled Vigil, was named the recipient of the 2007-08 Palmer-Dixon Prize, awarded by the Juilliard composition faculty for the "most outstanding" work composed by a student during the year. His music has been heard on WQXR’s Young Artists’ Showcase, and a 2006 performance of his Hodie by the Anderson University Orchestra and Chorus was televised nationally on PBS stations and internationally on EWTN. His music can be heard in the 2006 documentary Rehearsing a Dream. Gilbertson’s orchestral pops works are published by Robert Wendel Music in New York.

In June, 2009 Gilbertson organized Julliard in June, a special chamber music concert, to raise money for the NORTHEAST IOWA SCHOOL OF MUSIC which he attended. An encore performance was held in 2010. In 2011 the event featured the performance of Gilbertson's most recent ballet, originally titled "Ballet for David,' which was commissioned and premiered by the New York Choreographic Institute in 2011.