Meet Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra’s First Composer in Residence, As told by Robbie Dingeman.
Composer Michael-Thomas Foumai spends his days and nights immersed in music, composing, arranging and teaching. In April, the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra concludes a five-concert series he’s leading at the Hawai‘i Theatre that explores the intersection of Hawaiian culture and symphonic music with the Honolulu Jazz Quartet (April 15) and Raiatea Helm (April 29). Foumai, 35, who left Hawai‘i in 2009 for graduate school and work, then returned to the Islands in 2015, also teaches at UH West O‘ahu. He’s written music celebrating Polynesian voyaging as well as calling attention to climate change. We grabbed coffee with him to learn more.