Korean translation / edition (2015)


  • Newly published KOREAN edition / translation : publ. 2015, Seoul, Korea.
  • Impulsive Inspiration:  an extended essay published in the book, Where We Live  -  Indiana University Press  ISBN 0-253-32801-2
  • Restaurant Critic : Broad Ripple (Indianapolis) News, 1987 - 1997 Monthly restaurant reviews, including an annual April Fool review  (imaginary restaurant)

THE SCORE:  a few reflections . . .

Researching - and writing - THE SCORE during 1997-1999, I had the great honor of interviewing and getting to know many of the most important, influential and inspirational film composers working today. I had selected 15 composers to include in the book and the publisher was, for the most part, agreeable at every turn.  Three disappointments (due to publication deadlines): we weren't able to coordinate meetings with Jerry Goldsmith or Elliot Goldenthal, two of the most original voices in the business; and an extensive meeting / interview that had been scheduled with famed Japanese composer Toshiro Mayuzumi in NYC (we were both participating in a "Japan-America" international conference), never materialized - Mayuzumi passed away a few days before his departure for NYC.

Marc Shaiman, Bruce Broughton, Mark Isham, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore, James Newton Howard - these are eclectic, sophisticated composers who hold their own with the best of the great film composers of the past. John Corigliano and Paul Chihara, two composers more associated with concert music (but, like Wojciech KilarAaron Copland and Philip Glass, have some significant film credits in their catalog), offered unique and fascinating insight(s) from their concert music world POVs. Jazz legend Terence Blanchard provided one of the biggest laughs when, during our interview in NYC, he noted that when Spike Lee asked him to score Jungle Fever, Clockers, etc., Terence said "but, Spike, I'm not a movie composer", and Spike said "oh, just listen to The Rite of Spring (Stravinsky) and La Mer (Debussy), that's all you need to know."

Sadly, four of the composers have passed away since the publication of The Score: John Barry, Elmer Bernstein, Shirley Walker and Daniel Licht. It was an honor to get to know these groundbreaking composers and I'm glad some of their final words and thoughts are in my book.

Although I felt a strong personal connection with many of the composers, one stood out as destiny for a lifelong close friendship  -  Christopher Young. Perhaps because our music is of a similar aesthetic, perhaps because of a similar zest for life and passion for experimental 20th Century music and working with young composers, perhaps discovering we grew up about fifteen minutes from each other in northern New Jersey.  We have stayed in close touch these 20+ years since the publication of The Score, and I have brought him to my university 3X since 2002, to work with the composition students, give presentations, masterclasses, and concerts with the Butler University Symphony Orchestra (Species, Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, Priest, Drag Me to Hell, Spiderman 3, Creation, etc.). He has also hired five of my former students as his assistants for his Santa Monica studio. One day, out of the blue, he called and said "I'm flying in for the premiere of your Al Capone opera next week!" (April 2015).


    w/ Christopher Young, 1998 - Santa Monica, CA                  w/ Christopher Young, 2014, Shapiro's Deli, Indy

Christopher Young with the Butler Symphony Orchestra



KEISER CLASSICAL, INC.  (BMI / Hal Leonard, Inc)  


SCHELLEMUSIC, INC.  (BMI)   Phone:  317 345 7730

  • Many recent scores (since 2009) published by SCHELLEMUSIC, INC.



Exteme Orchestra! Opening Night  (2005)

Written, produced and directed by Rene Guerrero and Dee Schore, Miasma Film Group (Dallas, TX)

  • Extreme Orchestra !! Opening Night (2005), featuring the orchestral music of Michael Schelle, is an in-depth "behind the scenes" 55 minute documentary about the first subscription series concert of the 2005/2006 season of the Fort Smith (AR) Symphony : John Jeter, Music Director and Conductor 

Premiere:  2006 Hot Springs (AR) Film Festival.  Subsequent screenings at film festivals across the US.




                                                                            -  Elbert Hubbard  (1856 - 1915)

On their website home pages, many composers immediately blast their unsuspecting web visitors with multiple ("selected") rave reviews and glowing press . . .

As Copland once told me: "Michael, throw out the bad reviews because they probably don't know what they're talking about, but throw out the good reviews because they probably don't know what they're talking about."  

Over the years I have received many positive reviews in prestigious publications such as The New York Times, 
The Chicago Sun Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, etc., but also some less flattering press, like "Composer Lapses into Disgrace" (The Indianapolis Star, 1988), but -  in the spirit of  THE LEXICON OF MUSICAL INVECTIVE  -  here is my personal favorite:

            "Elgar would have Gagged in his Grave"

... coughs the DETROIT FREE PRESS headline after a Detroit Symphony Orchestra subscription series concert featuring Michael Schelle's 1986 Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra (and music by Edward Elgar and Sergei Prokofiev), noting that "the Elgar Symphony No. 2 is a terrible work, and the Prokofiev 2nd Symphony is just meaningless cacophony, but the Schelle is even worse; so bad, in fact, that even Elgar - who is a terrible composer - would have gagged in his grave". 

Schelle's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

(personal photo from the  EXOTIC FELINE RESCUE CENTER  Indiana)