Composer/Sound Designer


Michael Henry is a composer, sound designer and performer who currently resides in the San Francisco bay area. Michael holds an undergraduate degree in Horn performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City conservatory of Music, and a Masters in Music composition from Northwestern University. He studied composition with Raymond Luedeke,  Gerald Kemner, and Alan Stout. He has also participated in master classes with composer/conductor Pierre Boulez, and a Carnegie Hall composer’s workshop with composer Luciano Berio.

Among his recent works are many collaborative efforts with noted sound artist Dwight Frizzell. These include a recently revised version of Sonic Force for A-10 Warthogs, Helicopters, Foley Artists, and Ensemble, which was presented at the National Audio Theatre Workshop in 2007. In 2005 the NewEar contemporary music ensemble of Kansas City Missouri, premiered H for Thermonuclear Device and Remote Chamber Ensemble, which features a B61 Mod11 thermonuclear gravity bomb on stage as soloist along with a chamber ensemble located in a simulated bomb shelter, projected into the performance space via video and multichannel spatial sound feeds. New Ear also presented the one-act monodrama Out of Time in 1997; and the premiered  his Quatre Poemes d'Henri Michaux for soprano and chamber orchestra in 1996.

When he is not composing concert music or collaborating with sonic artist Dwight Frizzell in their noble effort to re-purpose military technology for peaceful artistic uses, he likes to eat. Thus he relocated to the bay area in 1998, to take a position with the legendary Atari Games as a composer and sound designer. Among the many game titles he has worked on, his favorites are Midway’s
Dr. Muto and Atari’s San Francisco Rush 2049 series of racing games. He is currently employed at Cryptic Studios working on a massively multiplayer online game based on the Champions Sci-Fi Superhero RPG franchise, Champions Online. Michael also consults with technology companies and has done interface sound design for Palm PDAs, cellphones, and Intel multimedia applications.


Northwestern University

  1. Master of Music degree in Composition (June, 1986)

  2. Composition studies with Alan Stout, Electro-acoustic music with Steven Syverud

  3. Private horn study with Gail Williams

University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music

Bachelor of Music degree in Composition/Horn Performance (May, 1982)

Composition Studies with Gerald Kemner and Raymond Luedeke

Private horn studies with Nancy Cochran-Block and David Reiswig

Master class/workshop with Pierre Boulez

Carnegie Hall composers workshop with Luciano Berio (1996)


Private Instructor of Horn, Composition, Orchestration, Music Technology and Music for Interactive Media  (1983-pres)

Art Institute of Kansas City

Visiting Lecturer - Sound Design for New Media (2001)

University of Missouri Kansas City - Department of Continuing Education

  1. Instructor of Horn, Music Theory (1984)


Awards, Grants, Commissions, Organizations

National Audio Theater Workshop – Sonic Force (revised version - 2007)

Missouri Arts Council Grant with newEar ensemble – Sonic Force (2003)

Redwood Symphony – Co-Principal Horn (2001-pres)

Nova Vista Symphony – Principal Horn (200-2001)

Kitchen Winds – Woodwind Quintet (1998-pres)

NewEar Contemporary Music Ensemble Commission – Out of Time (1997)

Member, American Composers Forum

  1. Member, American Music Center

  2. Member, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)


“Lost and Found Sound and Beyond” Music for Harry S. Truman the Center of the World, Peabody Award-winning NPR program. Introduced by Francis Ford Coppola  (Highbridge Audio CD - 2004)

From Ark to Microchip – Music for public radio program

Music for Radio, TV and Videogames (1988-present)



Darwin - Opera (in progress)       

Sonic Force (revised version) - A-10 Warthogs, Helicopters, Live Foley, Narrators, Ensemble  (2008)

Fanfare for Redwood(s) - Brass and Percussion (2007)

“H” for Thermonuclear Device and Remote Chamber Ensemble (2005)

Sonic Force for A-10 Warthogs and Chamber Ensemble (2003)

Ozark Folk Songs - Solo Voice and Chamber Ensemble (2002*)

Neanderthal Chorus - Mixed Choir, 2 Bone Flutes (2001*)

Ephemeralization I - Solo Alto Saxophone with Tape (2000)

Out of Time - Opera/Monodrama for Solo Voice, Tape, Multichannel Sound Projection, Chamber Orchestra (1997)

Quatre Poemes d’Henri Michaux (revised version) - Solo Voice and Chamber Orchestra (1996)

Three Pudd’nheads - Solo Clarinet (1991)

Symbiosis - Horn and Tape (1990)

Dancing Phoenicopteridae - Clarinet, Horn, Cugaphone (1988)

The Astronomer - Tape (1987)

Three pieces for E-flat Clarinet - Solo E-flat Clarinet (1987)

Five Pieces for Timpani and Bass Drum - Percussion Solo (1986)

Assorted Electro-acoustic work - Tape, Digital Media, etc. (1984-pres)

Music for Radio, TV and Videogames - Misc., Electronic, Orchestral, etc.  (1995-Pres)