Michelle Agnes Magalhaes is a Brazilian composer. Her music explores the limits between gesture and writing, composition and improvisation. The piano plays a key role in these two fields of her musical activity: several important pieces of her composition catalogue were conceived for this instrument, and she plays regularly as an improviser pianist (as a soloist and with other musicians).
While a Radcliffe fellow, Magalhaes is composing a concerto for piano and ensemble intimately anchored to a prior study of Harvard’s keyboard instruments collection. The composition process includes an acoustics analysis of Harvard's pianos and fortepianos in order to elaborate the harmonic material of the piece.
Magalhaes holds a doctorate from the University of São Paulo, in Brazil, and a master’s degree from the University of Campinas, also in Brazil. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from such international institutions as the Camargo Foundation, the São Paulo Research Foundation, UNESCO, and the Villa Sträuli. Between 2013 and 2017, she worked as a researcher and as a composer at IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique), in Paris.