MICHAEL HENRY ARCM DipRCM

BIOGRAPHY

Michael is a London-born multi-genre composer and vocalist, spanning musical styles from Contemporary Classical to Soul/R&B. He studied composition and clarinet at the Royal College of Music in London 1981-5 and began is vocal career as a member of the 9-piece R&B group Buddy Curtess and the Grasshoppers from 1985-89, winning the Time Out award for best live act two years running.

He is presently vocalist and composer with a capella groups The Shout and Flying Pickets, as well as guesting as songwriter/vocalist on a number of other recording projects including "Butcher'd" Beats, Casino and Archangel.

Michael also has professional experience as a bass guitarist, keyboardist, saxophonist, arranger, copyist, transcriber and vocal animateur.

MUSICAL DIRECTOR HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Co-composer and musical director with Orlando Gough, as well as performer in Robert Icke's production of Mr. Burns at the Almeida Theatre May - July 2014
  • Vocal MD liaison to Tim Hutton on The Amen Corner at the National Theatre May-August 2013
  • MD, arranger, vocalist and instrumentalist on the Young Vic/Royal Court production of FEAST, directed by Rufus Norris, January-March 2013.
  • Vocal MD and Cantor in the National Theatre production of the Ibsen play Emperor and Galilean, July-August 2011
  • Vocal MD on FELA! at the National Theatre, Sept 2010 to January 2011
  • Vocal MD on the Nobel Prize winning playwright Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman at the National Theatre February-July 2009
  • Musical Director for the Flying Pickets 25th anniversary tour Changing Times in 2007

VOCAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Live backing vocals for: Chaka Khan, George Michael, The Pet Shop Boys, Jamelia, Barry Manilow, Dave McCalmont, Ian Shaw.
  • Recorded Backing vocals for: Dianna Ross, Chrissy Hynde, Robbie Williams, Billy Bragg, Jose Carreras, Michael Ball, John Harle. 
  • Supporting artist to: Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Suzanne Vega, Aswad, The Cure, The Stranglers, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Doctor Feelgood.
  • Classical soloist with: Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Ensemble Modern, Matrix Ensemble, Lontano, Shiva Nova, Ensemble X.
  • Featured vocalist in Scott Walker's Drifting and Tilting at the Barbican in 2009.

COMPOSITION HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Stand for 16 voices, performed at the BBC Proms 2006
  • Rocket Symphony for 500 voices and fireworks, co-composed with Orlando Gough to herald Linz as the 2009 European Capital of Culture
  • Circus Tricks, an opera collaboration with librettist Adey Grummet, performed at the 2009 Tete-a-Tete festival. A full length version has now been commissioned for a Spring 2012 run.

Downloadable CV (last updated January 2017)

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