Michael Mortilla has composed hundreds of scores for professional modern and ballet choreographers, companies, international festivals and arts organizations. He was trained in dance composing and accompaniment while serving as company pianist for Martha Graham. Miss Graham personally tutored Mr. Mortilla in creating effective scores to accompany several of her projects and he was accompanist of choice for many years. Works created by the Graham/Mortilla collaborative team have been performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House (Ronald Reagan) and broadcast on PBS as part of the Dance in America, Great Performances, In Performance at the White House, The McNeil-Lerher News Hour, and Peter Rosen's An Evening of Dance and Conversations with Martha Graham.
Michael served as Principal Musician and Resident Composer at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Theater and Dance Departments for 14 years,where he also taught the Music for Dance series and Music History. He also served as resident pianist for the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi and has worked as composer and music director for numerous dance companies and productions including Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The Yard Dance Festival, Riverside Church (NYC), The Edinburgh Festival, The Green Room (London), The Rotterdam Dance Academy, Florida State University, CALARTS, and many others.
Michael is well known and highly respected for his unique style of dance accompaniment in both Modern and Ballet and has accompanied well over 12,000 dance classes in all styles. He produced two dance specific CDs, Modern Piano Improvisations Volumes 1 & 2, which were reviewed by Dance Magazine in which Marion Hirosko exclaimed "...perfect!"
Michael Mortilla performing with Susan Manchak