Michael Sponseller (harpsichord) has appeared throughout Europe and North America with critical acclaim as a soloist, conductor, and chamber musician. Winner of the American Bach Soloists Competition (1998) and the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition (2002), he holds the distinction of being a two-time prizewinner at the Festival of Flanders International Harpsichord Competition (Bruges), as well as taking prizes in Montréal and Kalamazoo. His recitals, which favor the French "clavecinists" and English virginal repertoire, have been heard at the Smithsonian Institution, Saint Cecilia's Hall, Alliance Française and at festivals such as Boston, Berkeley, and Edinburgh. Following his return to the US in 1999, Mr. Sponseller has performed and recorded frequently with the Handel and Haydn Society, Smithsonian Chamber Players, American Bach Soloists, New York Collegium, and Apollo's Fire. Michael Sponseller performs in partnership with leading artists such as Catherine Turocy, Emyln Ngai, Derek Lee Ragin, Malia Bendi Merad, and Sarah Freiburg and performs with numerous ensembles such as La Luna, Aradia, and Rhetoric. In addition to holding degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague, Mr. Sponseller was a teacher of harpsichord at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music.
Mr. Sponseller's passionate interest in 17th and 18th century opera led to making his conducting debut in 2000 with Dido and Aeneas of Henry Purcell. Since then he has performed and been assistant conductor in a wide range of repertoire, including Castor et Pollux, Ariodante, Amadigi, Alcina, Cephale et Procris, and Les Arts Florissants. In 2000, he became a research assistant at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, working with Lisa Goode Crawford on the operas of Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer (1705-1755). This work culminated in 2002 in the modern-day premiere of Royer's Le Pouvoir de l'Amour with the New York Baroque Dance Company, Oberlin College, and the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, which received recognition and praise from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Opera News. Mr. Sponseller can also be heard on several recordings from Electra, Vanguard Classics, Naxos and Centaur.