Michael Rene Torres

Michael Rene Torres

Michael Rene Torres

Assistant Teaching Professor of Saxophone and Composition; Area Coordinator of Composition


614 292-4648

366 Timashev Building
1866 College Rd
Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Saxophone
  • Composition


  • DMA (saxophone), The Ohio State University
  • MM (composition), The Ohio State University
  • MM (saxophone), Northwestern University
  • BME (education), Stetson University

Saxophonist, composer, educator and curator Michael Rene Torres currently serves as assistant teaching professor at The Ohio State University where he teaches saxophone and composition. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Columbus Ohio Discovery Ensemble (CODE); a 501(c)3 non-profit contemporary music ensemble that is dedicated to the promotion, performance and perception of contemporary concert music in Central Ohio. Additionally, Torres serves as the program director and as an advisory board member of the Johnstone Fund for New Music which advances the performance of new music for the benefit of the Central Ohio community. Torres has presented recitals, clinics and master classes at festivals, conferences and universities throughout the USA. As an advocate of contemporary music, Torres has extensively commissioned and premiered works for the concert saxophone and is an active chamber musician as a member of the contemporary music ensemble Tower Duo with flutist Erin Helgeson Torres. Tower Duo has been performing together since 2007 and focuses on the music of living composers. Their debut album, Crosswind, was released by Ravello Records under the PARMA Recordings label in January 2019.

A winner of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and the Greater Columbus Arts Council Composition Fellowship, Torres' compositional interests are in music that explores the juxtaposition of consonance and dissonance and is often inspired by psychology and poetry. He describes his music as dramatic and theatrical with complex, intricate moments and calm, introspective moments. Torres’ research interests are in studying the current and historical practice of comprehensive musicianship with an emphasis on investigating the mutually beneficial relationship of performing, composing and improvising music. Specifically, he is interested in the educational outcomes of incorporating composition and improvisation into the pedagogy of traditional applied "classical" performance with a belief that learning and practicing basic compositional and improvisational skills can enhance the craft of performing, leading to creative musicianship and innovative interpretive perspective.

Torres has previously served as lecturer of saxophone and composition at Muskingum University (2011–2021), artist-in-residence with the Wexner Center for the Arts Pages Program (2017–2018), assistant dean of students at the Brevard Music Center Festival and Institute (2010–2015), Executive Committee member of the Society of Composers, Inc. as the editor for the bimonthly national SCI Newsletter (2012–2016), instructor of music at Ohio Dominican University (2014–2015), co-organizer for The Ohio State University Contemporary Music Festival (2023, 2012, 2011), and as the general manager of the 2013 National Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. Torres currently serves on the Conferences Committee of the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) as well as NASA’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging and Accessibility.

Torres holds degrees from The Ohio State University (DMA–saxophone, MM–composition), Northwestern University (MM–saxophone), and Stetson University (BME–education). He has studied saxophone with James Bishop, Frederick L. Hemke, James Hill and Joseph Lulloff and studied composition with Thomas Wells and Kari Juusela. Torres is a Conn-Selmer Endorsing Artist and performs exclusively on Selmer Paris saxophones. Visit Torres' website for more information.

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