As guitarist and lutenist, Michael has performed with leading ensembles and been broadcast in the UK and abroad
Michael has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rambert, English National Opera and Royal Opera House among many others. In addition to solo concerts, he has played with chamber groups and orchestras at leading international festivals and the BBC Proms. He has also made a number of recordings, notably with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and collaborated with film composer Trevor Jones.
Michael’s arrangements for solo guitar have been featured on the top-selling albums by his former student Miloš Karadaglić for Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics.
Since becoming a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1977, Michael has devoted an increasing amount of time to educational work. His department has built a superb reputation, attracting students and visiting artists of the highest calibre. Success in prize competitions around the world and the strong and distinctive professional careers of Academy alumni further attest to the quality of his teaching.
Michael has given masterclasses at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, University of Bologna and Conservatoire Nationale Superieur de Musique et Danse de Paris; on summer courses at Scandiano and Siena in Italy; and at the Koblenz International Guitar Festival in Germany and the Campos do Jordao Festival in Brazil.
A regular adjudicator at national and international competitions, Michael has examined at most of the main UK conservatoires and is on the Diploma Panel of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. He has also edited Trinity College of Music’s Guitar Grade and Diploma syllabus. In 1990, he co-founded the European Guitar Teachers’ Association UK and from 1999 to 2001 was its chairman, meanwhile also being vice-president of the international EGTA from 1996 to 2006.
Extending his interest in helping young musicians at the start of their careers, Michael is honoured to be a Liveryman and Court Member of the Worshipful Company of Musicians and chairs the panel of the WCOM’s Ivor Mairants Guitar Award and the New Elizabethan Award, which he initiated for his year as Master in 2018-19. He has been a trustee of the Julian Bream Trust since its inception in 2009.
Michael studied with Hector Quine at the Royal Academy of Music and in Spain with José Tomás.