Michael Murphy

Hailed as “excellent” (New York Times, 2022) and “captivating” (Myanmar Times, 2018), Chinese-Canadian percussionist Michael Murphy has toured North America, Scandinavia, Europe, and Asia as a chamber and solo musician. Though having performed in groups such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg, his focus lies in contemporary music and the performance of new works. In Canada, this involves him in groups such as New Music Concerts, Array Music, Soundstreams, and the Esprit Orchestra, and with festivals such as Nuit Blanche, the New Creations Festival, 21C Festival at Koerner, and the Luminato Festival. 

A practitioner of non-Western arts, Michael has studied Japanese taiko, Iranian tombak, and studied Gagaku in Osaka with members of the Shitennoji Gagaku troupe Garyokai. Since 2020, he has been an active performer and commissioner of the shō and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Université franco-allemande with a focus on nature’s role in the development of time in Japanese traditional arts. 

Since 2021 he has been part of Beth Morrison Project’s production tour of Book of Mountains and Seas with Ars Nova Copenhagen, composer Huang Ruo, and director Basil Twist. Upcoming recordings include a CD with Ars Nova Copenhagen, American composer Andrew Hulse, and Canadian composer Sophie Dupuis. In other commercial work, he has been a featured on the Cuphead videogame as a xylophone soloist both for the official PS4 commercial and the Delicious Last Course album and game.