Acclaimed composer Michael Thurber’s musical career defies categorization. From composing for The Royal Shakespeare Company and co-founding the smash YouTube channel CDZA, to creating his Thurber Theater variety show at Joe’s Pub, teaching at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, and performing in the house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well as around the country in duo with violinist Tessa Lark, Thurber’s musical journey has been remarkably singular.
As a theater composer & lyricist, Thurber made his international debut with his score of Antony and Cleopatra, a co-production between The Royal Shakespeare Company (Stratford, UK) and The Public Theater (NY, NY) directed by Oscar winner Tarell McCraney. He has since written numerous scores for The Public Theater, Manhattan Theater Club and has developed original musicals with The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (CT), Joe’s Pub (NYC), The Kimmel Center (PA), Williamstown Theater Festival (MA), SPACE At Ryder Farm (NY) and Theater Latte Da (MN). His one-man musical The Booty Call ran for five weeks Off-Broadway at the TBG Theater in 2016.
Thurber’s concert music has been performed by orchestras around the country including The Louisville Orchestra, The Williamsburg Symphony, The Evansville Philharmonic and The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. His work has been commissioned by such esteemed institutions as NPR’s “From The Top” , The International Horn Society and Elisa Monte Dance.
Thurber was co-founder and music-director of one of YouTube’s biggest music collectives, CDZA, which within its first 2 years of formation garnered over 26 Million views and 300k channel subscribers. CDZA performed at TED@nyc and was featured on NPR as well as headlining the first ever YouTube Music Awards alongside Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Eminem and MIA.
In 2015, Thurber joined Jon Batiste and Stay Human as bass player for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. On the show, Michael performed with Yo Yo Ma, James Taylor, Cee Lo Green and Jack Black.
Michael proudly serves on the Board Of Directors for NPR’s From The Top. He is an Adjunct Faculty member at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute. Michael studied music at The Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School.