Michael Ostrzyga has gained international reputation as a composer of choral music in particular, being commissioned by festivals like the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival and renowned performers around the globe like The Chamber Choir of Asia, the finnish YL Male Voice Choir (Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat), the Vienna Chamber Choir, latvian Youth Choir "Kamēr...", via-nova-chor Munich, and Chamber Choir Consono, among others. His works are performed by ensembles like the Rheinisches Klavierduo, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester, New Dublin Voices, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Australian Chamber Choir, swedish choirs Kammarkören Pro Musica and Allmänna Sången, via-nova-chor München, The Choral Project (California) and the SFA A Cappella Choir (Texas). The premier of his a cappella work IUPPITER was awarded the Carl-Orff Prize during the Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf in 2007. In 2009, IUPPITER was also repertoire at the swedish choral conducting competition ERIC ERICSON AWARD. His internationally acclaimed collection of piano miniatures, “Der singende Wind”, published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 2010, received the award “Best Edition 2011.”
Besides, he is the Music Director at University of Cologne, where he currently leads the Collegium Musicum, an organization housing the university’s major musical ensembles. Serving as conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, Choir, and Chamber Choir, he has appeared in concerts in the Cologne area, as well as abroad and in several national and international festivals. Developing partnerships with organizations and creative artists of all kinds and launching the concert series Universitätskonzerte when he took his duties in 2008, he firmly established the Collegium Musicum at Cologne University as an important and acclaimed cultural constitution.
As a guest conductor, he collaborated with ensembles like Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Neues Rheinisches Kammerorchester, and Kölner Vokalsolisten and appears in festivals like AchtBrücken (http://www.achtbruecken.de/de/). As a formerly active pianist, he co-founded the chamber music ensemble Sforzato presenting extraordinary concerts combining music of all eras and regions. Throughout all of these various positions, he has also regularly commissioned and premiered numerous new works by composers such as Jan Masanetz, Friedrich Jaecker, Michael Gees, and Martin Herchenröder.
Ostrzyga was born in Castrop-Rauxel, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, where he was initially trained in piano, organ, and choral activities by Bruno Zaremba before studying conducting with renowned conductor Marcus Creed, composition with Friedrich Jaecker, and piano with Peter Degenhardt.