Michael Kieran Harvey
Michael Kieran Harvey was born in Sydney in 1961 and studied piano with Alan Jenkins, Gordon Watson, and at the Liszt Academy, Budapest, under Sándor Falvai. His career has been notable for its diversity and wide repertoire. He has especially promoted the works of Australian and contemporary composers and recorded over 40 solo CDs on various labels. He has premiered many new Australian and international concertos with all Australian symphony orchestras. Harvey began piano lessons with his grandmother at age three and later with Alan Jenkins at the Canberra School of Music. He attended the Sydney Conservatorium High School as a scholarship student from 1974-79. During his time here with Gordon Watson, Harvey developed a strong interest in jazz and rock, touring outback Australia as keyboardist with the school's big band, directed by Geoff Bailey. In 1980 he began his DSCM at the Conservatorium, again under Watson, completing it in 1988 after an interim period of study with Professor Sándor Falvai, Director of the Liszt Academy, Budapest, from 1984-87. While studying in Budapest Harvey gained considerable experience in international piano competitions, becoming a finalist and recipient of the Debussy Medal in the Guilde Francaise competition in Paris in 1985, and finalist in the inaugural Utrecht Liszt competition in 1986. In 1993 Harvey won the world's richest piano competition, the Ivo Pogorelich International Solo Piano Competition in Pasadena, a forum showcasing the most challenging piano repertoire played by the world's leading professional pianists. As a pianist, Harvey's awards also include the Australian Government's Centenary Medal (2002), the 2009 AMC & APRA Classical Music Award for Distinguished Services to Australian Music, and the 2014 Tasmanian State Award for the Performance of the Year (for Elliott Gyger's Inferno). Harvey also holds a PhD in composition. He concentrates on non-standard formats, often humorously questioning classical music and embracing diverse influences. His hour-long multi-keyboard homage to Frank Zappa, 48 Fugues For Frank, was premiered at Mona Foma in 2010 and received the AMC/APRA Tasmanian State Award for the Instrumental Work of the Year in 2011. Harvey's trio Deus est Fabula was premiered by Plexus at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's 2014 Metropolis series at the Melbourne Recital Centre. A live CD/DVD recording of his epic Iyengar yoga and ensemble work Patañjali (2015) was released on the Move label and received an AMC/APRA Tasmanian State Award for Instrumental Work of the Year in 2016. Current projects include the premieres of his Piano Sonata #4 "A. Gramsci", Astro Labe, Coeur de Lion and PRTZL at Mona in November 2018, and a new multi-instrumental and narrator cycle based on The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy at ANAM in 2019. Harvey is based in Tasmania, where he supports many environmental causes. He is a Kawai artist.