Biography (Conductor)

Education

Michael was educated in Gloucestershire  and has been conducting since the age of 16 when he first formed an orchestra at his school to perform in a school music competition.   

He studied music at Leeds University, The Franz Liszt Academy in Weimar (Germany), where he studied Conducting as a joint principal study with horn (alongside Opera Coaching), and the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.

 Full-time conducting studies for two years followed at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, where his teachers included Howard Williams, of English National Opera, Adrian Partington, Artistic Director of the BBC National Chorus of Wales, and Anthony Negus and Gareth Jones of Welsh National Opera in Opera Coaching (répétiteur studies). 

Conducting Masterclasses have been taken with Jorma Panula, Christian Gansch, Christopher Adey, Siân Edwards, Martyn Brabbins, Achim Holub and Tony Purser, and he has worked as an accompanist with Paul Spicer, Brian Kay and Mary King.

Choral conducting

Michael has been the Music Director of Godalming Choral Society since 2007, where he has led the choir to sell-out concerts and standing ovations. Particular successes have included Verdi’s Requiem, Jenkins’s The Armed Man, selling out both the Bach Christmas Oratorio and the Mozart Requiem.      

Michael has  been music director of several amateur choirs since leaving the RWCMD (including the Nelson and District Choral Society, South Wales, The Tan House Singers, Gloucester, and the Cotswold Chorus, South Gloucester.) Recently, he has begun conducting on intensive choral residential weekends , with both young singers and adult chamber choirs.  

Collaborators in choral coaching have included up-and-coming opera singers, and choral and singing experts such as the late Philip Langridge, Mary King, Robert Dean and Jonathan Veira.  As a result, GCS choir members have enjoyed inspirational vocal training days with Philip, Mary, Robert and Jonathan Veira, the current President of the Society.

 Orchestral conducting

Michael is also the founder and Music Director of Orchestra Eroica (Leader: Harry Kerr), an orchestra of young professionals, which had its solo début concert in July 2013. The orchestra  brings London’s best new orchestral talent to audiences in Surrey and a fresh approach to well-loved Classics. For more information, visit www.orchestraeroica.com. The orchestra has also accompanied Godalming Choral in Mozart’s Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Rutter’s Gloria, Fauré’s Requiem, and Brahms’ Requiem.

Michael has worked with several student orchestras and many amateur orchestras such as The New Bristol Sinfonia and The Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra.    Over recent years, he has worked increasingly with  professional orchestras, including The William Godfree Chamber Orchestra, the Kammerphilharmonie Graz (Austria),  The Godalming Choral Sinfonia and Orchestra Eroica. 

Opera Conducting

Michael’s opera conducting work has included:

Nicolai: The Merry Wives of Windsor (Assistant) (Surrey Opera, August 2008)

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas (directed from the harpsichord) for the Waverley Ensemble, Haslemere, Surrey (June 2015)

Gilbert and Sullivan: The Mikado (August 2016, Haslemere Hall, Surrey) for Imagine That Productions

Future work includes:

Osgood: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (première) (May 2017)