|Michael Nowak learned to play violin, clarinet and tuba while in school in Rhode Island. He attended Indiana University and became a student of William Primrose who inspired Nowak to devote himself to the Viola. Primrose helped Nowak get a scholarship to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.
Nowak served as Assistant Conductor and Violist with the Dallas Symphony; conductor of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra and the Monterey Chamber Orchestra; and has appeared in guest conducting engagements with several orchestras.
As a violist, Nowak was a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra until 1980. In 1980, he began his association with the Oregon Bach Festival and traveled to Europe for a series of concert tours and recordings with the Stuttgart Bach Collegium. During this time, Nowak was also a conductor with the Hindemith Festival.
Nowak is currently the Music Director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony.