Michael Abels was born in Phoenix, Arizona. His earliest years were spent on his grandparents’ farm in South Dakota where he learned to play the family piano at age 4. He began composing by the age of 8. He was 13 when his first orchestral work was performed. Abels is best known for composing the score to the Oscar-winning film Get Out. He also is Co-founder of the Composers Diversity Collective which advocates for composers of color in film, video game and streaming media. His orchestral piece, Global Warming, was one of the first pieces by an African-American composer to be performed by the National Symphony of South Africa after Nelson Mandela was elected President.