double-bassist from Wales
who started performing at about eleven years of age under the tutelage of
his father, a double-bass instructor.
One of his first professional engagements took place in a matter of
months in Hungary,
where he provided the double-bass lines for “Symphony No. 4” by
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
He was a
member of the European Union Youth Orchestra and attended Cardiff University
and the Royal Academy of Music in London. His conducting debut occurred at Cardiff where he
wielded the baton for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s overture to The Magic Flute.
In 2003, he
joined the ranks of the London Symphony Orchestra as a member of their
experience conducting the LSO came in 2006, during a Lithuanian tour. Valery Gergiev’s flight was
delayed, and the orchestra was to perform “Symphony No. 4” by
Dmitri Shostakovich that evening, a piece that had to be rehearsed. Michael conducted the rehearsal, and
it was a portent of things to come.
In January of
2007, he was asked to step in again for an ailing Gergiev, this time for a rehearsal
and performance of “Marchen-Poem” and
“Pro et Contra” by Sofia Gubaidulina.
opportunity arose on 4th February 2007 when he subbed for the
ailing composer/conductor John Adams in a performance of “The Dharma
at Big Sur”, with violinist Leila Josefowicz,
“Naïve and Sentimental”, and “Slonimsky’s
his conducting education by taking a master class with Gergiev at the
Gergiev Festival, which was held in Rotterdam,
The Netherlands, in 2007. The
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra was fitfully impressed and asked him to
conduct several concerts in June and October of 2008.
In November of
2008, he debuted with Orchestre Philharmonie du Luxembourg in concert with tenor
Andre Previn for a series of concerts with
violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Radio-Sinfonieorchester
Stuttgart in January 2009. The
concerts featured “Double Concerto for Violin and Double Bass”
by Andre Previn, “In Tempus Praesens” by Sofia Gubaidulina,
and “Mathis der Maler”
by Paul Hindemith.
In May 2009,
he conducted the Mariinsky Orchestra in a program
that included the “Cello Concerto” of Sir Edward Elgar and the “Othello
Overture” of Antonin Dvorak.
He conducted RSO
Stuttgart in a performance of Peter
and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev and “Young Person’s Guide
to the Orchestra” by Benjamin Britten in June 2009.
In July 2009,
he debuted with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of the “Clarinet
Concerto” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with soloist Ricardo Morales.
with RSO Stuttgart in March 2010, when they performed the seventh
symphonies of Sergei Prokofiev and Jean Sibelius.
In April of
2010, he embarked on a tour of Japan
with Anne-Sophie Mutter for concerts with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and
National Taipei Symphony Orchestra.
with the Seattle Symphony on 28th October 2010, when they
performed the “Clarinet Concerto” of Aaron Copland, with
soloist John Manasse, “Moz-Art
a la Haydn” by Alfred Schnittke, “Symphony
No. 33” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and “Symphony No. 45”
(“Farewell”) by Franz Joseph Haydn.
In November of
2010, he debuted with the San Francisco Symphony in the world premiere of “Five
Shakespeare Sonnets” by Rufus Wainwright: He also premiered “Lichtes Spiel” by Wolfgang Rihm
with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic.
experience with the Oregon Symphony began with a 3:00 a.m. phone call from
his manager, a hastily arranged flight to Portland, and a successful debut in the
absence of Maestro Alondra de la Parra in
and 11th April 2011, he supplanted Gunther
Herbig as the OSO interpreted “Piano
Concerto No. 1” by Sergei Prokofiev and a pair of sixth symphonies by
Ludwig van Beethoven and Bohuslav Martinu.
his post as double-bassist of the LSO, which allowed him to focus all of
his attention on conducting, including his debut with the Houston Symphony,
in June 2011.
July 2011, he rejoined the San Francisco Symphony for a performance of “Piano
Concerto No. 2” by Sergei Rachmaninoff, with Valentina
Lisitsa at the keys, and “Symphony No. 5”
by Ludwig van Beethoven.
“Piano Concerto No. 5” by Ludwig van Beethoven, with soloist
Sara Davis Buechner, on 24th July
In the spring
of 2012, Michael hit the road again with Anne-Sophie Mutter and RSO
Stuttgart for a performance of the “Violin Concerto” by
He was the
guest conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for a pair of concerts
that included “Clarinet Concerto No. 1” by Carl Maria von
Weber, with soloist Todd Levy, “Mathis der Maler” by Paul Hindemith, and “Symphony in
D minor” by Cesar Franck.
beginning of the 2012-2013 season, he began a
three-year stint as Artistic Advisor and Chief Conductor of the Norrkoping
Symphony Orchestra in Sweden.
which he appears include the LSO’s John Adams: A Flowering Tree, as
double-bassist, and Rachmaninov:
Piano Concerto No. 2 by Valentina Lisitsa and the LSO and Rihm: Lichtes
Spiel/Currier: Time Machines
by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the New York Philharmonic, as conductor.