Michael Bauer received his early training in organ while studying for four years at the Eastman School of Music in high school. His bachelors and masters degrees were obtained at the University of Alabama, while his doctorate is from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. On both his masters and doctoral degrees he completed double majors in organ and choral conducting. Following his doctoral work, Bauer spent two years in Geneva, Switzerland, where he earned the Certificat de Perfectionnement from the Conservatoire de Musique. He has done additional study in theology while working on a Master of Theological Studies degree at the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University. His major teachers include Sue Seid-Martin, Patricia Fitzsimmons, Warren Hutton, Roberta Gary, and Lionel Rogg—organ; Frederick Prentice and Elmer Thomas—choral conducting; and Larry Palmer and Susan Marchant—harpsichord.
Bauer is a Professor of Organ and Church Music at the University of Kansas. Since arriving at the University of Kansas in 1987 he has developed a new doctoral program in church music. In 1995 Bauer held a Keeler Family Intra-University Professorship at KU, which enabled him to study in the art history and architecture departments. From 1988-1990 he served as the Associate Director of the International Church Music Workshop that met each summer in Geneva, Switzerland , and Cambridge, England. Since 2002 he has directed five KU European Organ Study Tours. Bauer is a past Dean of the Topeka, Kansas, and the Tuscaloosa, Alabama chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He has played or lectured at four regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists and a National Convention of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. During the 2013-14 season he will be playing in Austria, Germany and France, as well as playing, lecturing and judging in Russia.
Bauer has held twelve different church positions, including serving as Director of Music at the American Church in Geneva, and at Central Congregational Church in Dallas. He currently serves as Organist/Choirmaster at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Omaha, NE, where his wife Marie is Director of Music at St. Cecilia Cathedral. In 2001, along with colleagues from Kansas and Missouri, he founded IMAGO DEI: Friends of Christianity and the Arts, a regional, ecumenical, Christian arts organization serving the Great Plains states.
For twelve years, Bauer performed regularly on harpsichord as a member of the Oread Baroque Ensemble, with whom he released a CD of French music entitled La Magnifique. With his wife Marie he released a CD of the organ works of Petr Eben on the Calcante label. They have also served together as contributing authors to the book Leading the Congregation’s Song, published by Augsburg. In addition, Bauer has written a chapter for the book A Tribute to Petr Eben, published by the British Dvorak Society. He has published in a number of journals, including CrossAccent, L’Orgue, and Reformed Worship. Recently, he has written the book Arts Ministry: Nurturing the Creative Life of God's People, published by Eerdmans. He is in demand as an organ recitalist, having performed in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland, Russia, and throughout America, including concerti with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, the Omaha Civic Orchestra, the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. Bauer has served as a jury member at the final round of the Tariverdiev International Organ Competition (Kaliningrad, Russia) as well as on juries in the United States. He lectures widely on topics concerning the relationship between religion and the arts.