Zur Karriere von Michael SchnackWhat were the most important stages in your career? I grew up in Iowa City, USA, which offered a wonderful school music program. I studied piano with Amy Mulford, trombone and French horn with Lee Witwer, voice and choral accompanying with Peter Eklund and Larry Monson. I also participated in many straight theater, musical theater and opera productions. From 1985 to 1989 I studied music and modern languages (French, German and Russian) at Yale University and graduated with a BA in music (summa cum laude, Senior Thesis Prize). Between 1986 and 1989 I also conducted the Yale Russian Chorus, producing two record albums and performing on numerous concert tours across the US, USSR and Western Europe. After graduation I was awarded a Rice Fellowship to study Russian choral music in Moscow with Aleksandr Semenjuk (Gnesin Institute) and Vladimir Minin (Moscow Chamber Choir). On the way to Moscow I visited my twin brother, who was studying at the time in Vienna, and fell in love with the city. I moved here in 1990, first teaching music at the American International School, then becoming established as a free-lance vocal coach. Jobs followed at Peter Weck’s Studio Theater an der Wien and Austrian National Television (ORF). Soon I was working regularly on theater productions in Vienna and elsewhere in Austria and Europe (Volksoper, Volkstheater, Vienna Chamber Opera, Établissement Ronacher, Metropol, Theater Akzent, Sommerfestspiele Amstetten, Open Air Festival Stockerau, St. Gallen, Prague). Tour productions gave me the opportunity to perform in the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Deutsches Theater Munich, Aegidi Theater Hannover, and many others. I studied singing in Vienna with Carol Blaickner-Mayo and Marie Landreth, and sing in various choirs (Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Vienna Chamber Choir, Wiener Singverein, Choir of St. Augustin). I have been artistic director of the Performing Arts Studios Vienna, a three-year professional training program for musical theater performers, since 1994. In addition to my administrative duties, I lead the choral and vocal ensemble program, teach song interpretation and musical theater repertoire, and arrange and compose many pieces for school performances. As a representative of the Vienna Chamber Opera, I am primary juror for the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and also hold regular workshops for opera singers and musical theater performers in these countries. In February, 2006, I began conducting two choirs (Collegium Vocale Marchfeld and the Male Choral Society Stammersdorf). I have recently founded a concert cycle called Hear It Here, which will present concerts of vocal music (including operetta, musical theater, choral music, and solo concerts). My most recent work includes a production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ in the Vienna Chamber Opera; the premiere of my latest musical theater piece, 1070 Vienna; and choral performances of music by Irving Fine, Norman Dello Joio, and the Gospel Mass of Robert Ray.