Michael Lawson, continuo cello
Michael Lawson has developed a unique presence as a cellist, focusing on the rhythmic and improvisational styles of early music, jazz, and Celtic music. He has been commended for his “fearless rhythm.” (William Glackin, The Sacramento Bee) His yearly “Voice of the Cello” concerts with Sacramento Baroque Soloists have been warmly received by Sacramento audiences since 2007.
Michael received his Bachelor of Music Degree from California State University, Sacramento, where he studied cello performance with Lubomir Georgiev, then Principal Cellist with the Sacramento Symphony. While completing his degree, Michael performed with the Aspen Music Festival in 1990 and 1991, where he met his wife, Lisa.
In 1992, Michael’s interest in jazz and original music led him to perform in masterclasses with Mark Summer, cellist of the Turtle Island String Quartet. Shortly thereafter the Lawsons constructed a quartet of electric instruments, working with Stanley Marquiss of American Power and Light (www.americanpowerlight.com), with which they performed all classical concerts. At this time, from 1996-98, the Lawsons created and performed in a monthly concert series, Music at the White Bird Gallery, in Sutter Creek, California.
In 1999 and 2000 the Lawsons were awarded an Artist in the Schools Grant by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, to teach strings to 80 students at John Morse Waldorf Methods Magnet School.
When Michael’s interest in baroque music blossomed in the late 1990s, he decided to pursue continuo playing on Baroque cello, studying with Pheobe Carrai of Musica Antiqua Köln, Philharmonia Baroque founder Michael Sand, Richard Webb of the English Concert, and baroque violinist Elizabeth Field. Michael received his Bachelor of Music Degree in 1992 from California State University, Sacramento, where he studied cello performance with Lubomir Georgiev. He co-founded Sacramento Baroque Soloists in 2001, and continues to lead as Continuo cellist.
Michael is a devoted teacher, currently teaching cello at the Pease Conservatory of music in Sacramento. The Lawsons live in the countryside in a passive-solar straw-bale house, which they built. Michael enjoys sailing the Lawsons' Swedish Vindo sailboat, Surtsey, when time allows.