Michael Berkeley is the eldest son of the composer Sir Lennox Berkeley and a godson of Benjamin Britten. As a chorister at Westminster Cathedral, singing played an important part in his early education. He studied composition, singing and piano at the Academy and in his late twenties worked under Richard Rodney Bennett. In 1977 he was awarded the Guinness Prize for Composition and two years later he was appointed Associate Composer to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Since then Berkeley’s music has been played globally and by some of the world’s finest musicians.

His work has been commissioned and performed by artists including André Previn, Sir Colin Davis, Mstislav Rostropovich, Heather Harper, Nicholas Daniel, Huddersfield Festival, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales (where he was Composer in Association), Carducci and Takas Quartets and Nash Ensemble.

He has composed three operas; Baa Baa Black Sheep based on the childhood of Rudyard Kipling; Jane Eyre, which has been produced in the UK, Australia and America; and most recently For You written to a libretto by Ian McEwan and commissioned by Music Theatre Wales which was also recorded by Signum Classics.