Chair, Department of Music
Baritone Michael Hix has been praised by critics for his “expressive voice” and “commanding stage presence.” His career highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and Vienna’s Musikverein.
Hix is a sought after performer of concert/orchestral works with over 80 oratorio/cantata/concert roles in his repertoire. Past concert and oratorio solo engagements have included Mendelssohn’s Elijah, J.S. Bach’s Johannes-Passion, B Minor Mass, Magnificat, Weihnachts-Oratorium, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Brahms’ Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Dominican Vespers, and Great Mass in C minor, Fauré’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Vaughan Williams’ Hodie and Five Mystical Songs and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Kindertotenlieder and Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Hix made his South American debut singing at the XII Concurso y Festival Internacional di Canto Lirico in Peru. European performances include the bass solos in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Heligmesse at the International Haydn Festival in Vienna, Austria and song recitals in Leipzig and Dresden, Germany. Hix has been featured in concerts with the Boston Pops, Oregon Bach Festival, Arizona Bach Festival, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Georgia Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, San Juan Symphony, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, Highland Park Chorale, Tupelo Symphony, Montgomery Symphony, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, New York City’s Trinity Lutheran Bach Vespers Series and the Tallahassee Bach Parley among others. His debut CD of bass solo cantatas by Christoph Graupner (1683-1760) was released by Affetto Records and distributed by Naxos in 2023.
Included among his over 20 stage roles are Falke in Die Fledermaus, the Drunken Poet in The Fairy Queen, Grosvenor in Patience, Lord Mountararat in Iolanthe, Germont in La Traviata, Don Alfonso in Cosí fan tutte, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Scaramba in El Capitan, Noye in Noye’s Fludde, and Bertouf in the world premiere of A Friend of Napoleon by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Robert Ward. Hix has sung with Ohio Light Opera, Amherst Early Music Festival, Opera Birmingham, Ashlawn-Highland Opera, Greenville Light Opera Works, and Opera del Sol.
As a musicologist, Hix received the American Musicological Society Thomas Hampson Award. This award, generously donated by the Hampsong Foundation, funded his continued research on the Lieder of Paul Dessau. In addition, Hix is a Simonton Literary Prize and DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) Research Visit grant winner. His research has been published in The Journal of Singing, VOICEPrints: The Journal of the New York Singing Teachers’ Association, The Choral Journal, and The American Theater Organ Society Journal. Hix also contributed numerous entries to the Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition published by Oxford University Press. His book An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Orville Lee Erwin 1930-1931 was published by Scarecrow Press in 2012. Hix has presented lecture recitals on Dessau’s Lieder at the national conventions of the American Musicological Society, the College Music Society, and at the Texoma Regional NATS Conference. He has served as the President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American Musicological Society.
Dr. Hix is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). In 2007 he participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Intern Program where he worked under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen King. Hix has served as Program Chair, Vice President and President of the Rio Grande Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In addition, he has served as Rio Grande Governor and on the Board of Control for the Texoma Region.
Dr. Hix holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music theory from Furman University, dual masters degrees in both Voice Performance and Historical Musicology from Florida State University and Doctorate of Music in Voice Performance from Florida State University. He is the Chair of the Department of Music and an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of New Mexico.