Michael Carenbauer, Professor of Music, began playing guitar while attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. After he completed a dual degree in Economics/History he received a performance degree in Jazz Guitar from Berklee College in Boston, where he studied with jazz great Pat Metheny, and a Masters of Music in Classical Guitar from the University of South Florida. He was appointed to the faculty of the University of Arkansas/Little Rock in 1982. His performance and teaching experiences are wide and varied. In 1992 Michael conducted a symposium for the guitar under the sponsorship of the Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. He was featured as a soloist and ensemble member at the Rome Festival in 1993. He has conducted masterclasses and workshops at the National Conservatories of Orleans and Bordeaux in France. In May of 2001, Michael presented a program of classical, jazz and original music at the culminating event of an internship at the Karl-Franzens-Universitat Graz. Austria. In recent years he has presented concert programs for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Artspree and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music series. He also established a duo with acclaimed cellist Felice Farrell, former principal soloist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is available for performances and workshops through the Arkansas Arts Council “Arts on Tour” program.
Michael is a progressive musician who is fluent in a variety of music styles and has composed an important body of music for guitar, guitar ensemble and MIDI guitar. His “American Suite” was awarded 2nd prize in a national competition. In 1998 Michael was granted a Fellowship Award in the area of music composition from the Arkansas Arts Council for “lifetime achievement in the arts”. His compositions and arrangements for the guitar and guitar synthesizer were featured at the Chitarra 98 Festival in Montreal. He presented a program of MIDI guitar music to the Hong Kong Guitar Information Alliance in 1998. His unique composition “Sextet for Zheng, Guitar and String Quartet” was premiered on an Artspree concert with the Quapaw Quartet and Chinese zheng soloist Connie Ng. Mr. Carenbauer recorded this work, his transcription of Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major for Violin and String Orchestra and Leo Brouwer’s “Quintetto for Guitar and String Quartet” with assistance of a Faculty Seed Grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored at UALR.
Michael is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Faculty Excellence Teaching Award from UALR’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. He has been selected twice to be a presenter at the Guitar Foundation of America’s International conventions and has published articles for the Journal of the American String Teacher’s Association and the Guitar Foundation of America. His progressive use of technology in teaching was acknowledged with the first place award in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s first Teaching with Technology fair and was the subject of a presentation he made for the American String Teacher’s national convention in 2003. He is currently Director of Guitar Studies at UALR and holds the rank of Professor of Music.