The music of Michael Torke has been called "some of the most optimistic, joyful and thoroughly uplifting music to appear in recent years" (Gramophone).
Hailed as a "vitally inventive composer" (Financial Times) and "a master orchestrator whose shimmering timbral palette makes him the Ravel
of his generation" (New York Times), Michael Torke has created a substantial body of works in virtually every genre.
Career highlights include: Color Music (1985–89), a series of orchestral pieces that each explore a single, specific color; Javelin, recorded both for Argo
and for John William’s Summon the Heroes, the official 1996 Olympics album; Four Seasons, an oratorio commissioned by the Walt Disney
Company to celebrate the millennium; Strawberry Fields, whose “Great Performances” broadcast was nominated for an Emmy Award; and two
evening-length story ballets, The Contract, and An Italian Straw Hat, for James Kudelka and the National Ballet of Canada.
In 1998 Torke was Composer in Residence for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, for which he wrote and recorded Rapture, his percussion concerto, and
An American Abroad, a tone poem.
In 2003 Torke founded Ecstatic Records and re-issued the Decca/Argo catalog of his works. Recent recordings include Blue Pacific, Tahiti, and Miami Grands.
The opera, Pop-pea, was commissioned and produced by Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, in 2012.
Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned and recorded by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in 2014.
Upcoming projects include new cello and piano concertos, premiered and recorded by the Albany Symphony, and two new ballets for the Milwaukee Ballet.