"His cycle is a personal and assertive reimagining of some timeless, emotionally and sexually charged poetry. . . songs that burst with bold originality. . . music of an eclectic but coherent and distinctive style, contemporary but otherworldly." This is how Opera News described Michael Linton's 2014 song cycle "Carmina Catulli." Premiered by baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer and pianist Jason Peterson, Linton's song cycle on the poetry of Catullus stunned listeners at its Carnegie Hall premiere and drew raves from critics in the US and France upon its release on CD (where it tracked in at Number 3 on the iTunes classical list).
"Contemporary but otherworldly" aptly characterizes Linton's work. Deeply influenced by the contemporary masters Messiaen and Penderecki (with whom he studied at Yale), Linton's work equally draws on the older heritage of Josquin, Marenzio, and Bach. A native of California, Linton received his musical training in Illinois, Ohio, Connecticut and New York studying with composers Lukas Foss, Bruce Macombie, T. Scott Huston, as well as Penderecki. His criticism has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, First Things and The Weekly Standard and his scholarship has been published in the journal BACH as well as in The New Grove's Dictionary of Art. His music is available through the label Refinersfire, LLC. For the last twenty-five years he has been on the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University teaching music theory and history.