Born in Gulfport, Mississipi, Michelle Reed Baker earned her Bachelor of Music from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston – where she studied with Julie Landsman, Nancy Goodearl and Jay Andrus – and her Masters of Music at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of James Chambers.
Michelle was Second Horn at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1990-2017. Prior, she was a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and regular substitute with the New York Philharmonic. Her new life finds her focusing on teaching, free-lancing (Mostly Mozart Orchestra, the newly formed Montclair Orchestra, ProMusica, San Diego Symphony) and spending time with family.
Michelle serves on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, Montclair State University, Mannes College of Music and is an assistant professor at The Juilliard School. She has given master classes at the Texas Music Festival, Boston University, Western Michigan University, Kinhaven, New England Conservatory, California State Long Beach and the University of Delaware. The International Horn Society featured her in its “Ask the Pros” series in 2009.She appears each Summer at Music of the Hill in Rhode Island and at the Round Top Music Festival in in Texas. She has also taught and coached at the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
Michelle has performed several times with Michael Buble and Sting, recorded and performed with James Taylor and Harry Connick, Jr., and can be heard on the soundtracks for several movies such as The Good Shepherd, True Grit, Failure to Launch, Manchurian Candidate, Hail Caesar!, Moonrise Kingdom, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Zoolander 2.
Her recordings include the Hindemith Sonata for Alto Horn with pianist David Korevaar on the Kleos Classics label. Michelle recently commissioned a new piece for low horn entitled Imaginings, written by Dorothy Gates.