Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, singer, composer, and educator, hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the "ideal musician of the 21st-Century", and acclaimed by the New York Times for his "vital rich-hued solo playing". While still studying at The Juilliard School, Mike joined Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, with which he has toured extensively throughout the world, and won a 2017 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. Mike is also an active recording artist of original material, folk music, cross-cultural collaborations, and he has an ongoing project to record all of the Bach cello suites in acoustically glorious bathrooms of famous concert halls, via BachInTheBathroom.com. As one of the first wave of cellists to adopt a strap in order to stand and move while playing, Mike was the first standing cellist to perform at Carnegie Hall, using a cello strap of his own design, called the Block Strap, a performance which the NY Times called "Breathless ... Half dance, half dare."
Mike attended college at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied cello with Richard Aaron, and received the Jim Hall Prize for Undergraduate Achievement. Mike also earned a Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Darrett Adkins and Joel Krosnick. These days, Mike plays on a modern cello made in 2014 by Fabienne Gauchet, D’Addario strings, a David Gage Realist pickup, and the patented cello strap of his own design, The Block Strap.