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Michael Canales is an active composer and church musician who has written music in many genres, including opera and symphonic works. He has received major grants from organizations such as the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, and the Nevada Arts Council for his work as a composer and conductor. As a conductor, Canales specializes in opera, and he has conducted the works of Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner, in addition to many other works in the standard repertoire. He was the founder and director of Pasadena Lyric Opera for seven seasons. Canales is also an accomplished classical guitarist, as well as a pianist, organist, and percussionist.