This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
Michael Abels (born October 8, 1962) is a US composer and producer best known for his scores for the Oscar-winning film Get Out, and Us. As a concert composer, Abels has received grants from the United States National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer, and the Sphinx Organization, among others. His orchestral works have been performed by the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and others. As guest conductor of Get Out In Concert, Abels has led orchestras including the National Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. Several of his orchestral works have been recorded by the Chicago Sinfonietta and released on Cedille Records, including Delights & Dances and Global Warming. Abels is co-founder of the Composers Diversity Collective, an advocacy group to increase visibility of composers of color in film, game and streaming media.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2021)
Abels was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He spent his early years on a small farm in South Dakota, where he lived with his grandparents. Introduced to music via the family piano, he began showing an innate curiosity towards music at age 4. His music-loving grandparents convinced the local piano teacher to take him on as a student despite his age. At age 8, Abels began composing music, and by age 13, his first completed orchestral work was performed.
Upon graduating from high school, Abels attended the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles. Abels, who is mixed race, eventually studied West African drumming techniques at California Institute for the Arts, and sang in a predominantly black church choir to further explore his African-American roots.
- Get Out (2017)
- Us (2019)
- See You Yesterday (2019)
- All Day and a Night (2020)
- Bad Education (2020)
- Nightbooks (2021)
- Detroit (2017)
- Falling Sky, ballet (2020)
- At war with ourselves, a concert piece on a poem by Nikky Finney
- Omar, an original opera on the life of Omar ibn Said co-composed by Rhiannon Giddens
- Get Out, in concert (2020)
Awards and nominations
|2017||Fright Meter Awards||Best Score||Get Out||Nominated|
|World Soundtrack Awards||Discovery of the Year||Nominated|
|International Online Cinema Awards||Best Original Score||Won|
|2018||International Film Music Critics Awards||Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Outstanding Score||Won|
|2019||Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award||Best Original Score||Us||Won|
|World Soundtrack Awards||Discovery of the Year||Won|
|Indiana Film Journalists Association||Best Musical Score||Won|
|Greater Western New York Film Critics Association Awards||Best Score||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Award||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Phoenix Critics Circle||Best Score||Nominated|
|Seattle Film Critics Society Awards||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||Best Original Score- Horror Film||Won|
|Fright Meter Awards||Best Score||Won|
|2020||51st NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Soundtrack/Compilation Album||Nominated|
|Critics Choice Awards||Best Score||Nominated|
|Black Reel Award||Outstanding Score||Won|
|Latino Entertainment Journalists Association Film Award||Best Music||Nominated|
|Music City Film Critics' Association Award (MCFCA)||Best Score||Nominated|
|North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA)||Best Music||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association, OFTA Film Award||Best Music, Original Score||Nominated|
|Society of Composers and Lyricists Awards||Outstanding Original Score for a Studio Film||Nominated|
|Austin Film Critics Association Awards||Best Score||Nominated|
|International Film Music Critics Award||Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film||Nominated|
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||Best Score||Won|
|Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle Award||Best Original Score||Won|
|Georgia Film Critics Association||Original Score||Nominated|
|Gold Derby Awards||Original Score||Nominated|
|Hawaii Film Critics Society||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Hollywood Critics Association||Best Score||Nominated|
|Houston Film Critics Society Awards||Best Original Score||Nominated|
|Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Original Score||Won|
- De Lerma, Dominique-Rene. "African Heritage Symphonic Series Vol. III". Liner note essay. Cedille Records CDR066.
- "Michael Abels: Biography". Kennedy Center. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- Cooper, Michael (June 10, 2019). "Rhiannon Giddens Is Writing an Opera". New York times. Retrieved 2021-11-25.
- "Omar, A World Premiere Opera in 2022". Spoleto Festival USA. 2021. Retrieved 2021-11-25.