Michael comes from a Belgian-English family with a musical background.
He began playing the piano and the violin at a very young age, and at only eleven years old, he founded one of the most prestigious chamber music groups in the world, the Brodsky Quartet, with which he performed concerts all over the globe for over 25 years. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester) with Yossi Zivoni and at the Mozarteum (Salzburg) with Sandor Vega.
Michael’s first compositions include a concerto for cello, written at fourteen, and several string quartets written even earlier. On many occasions, he himself has performed his own violin concerto. His concerto for trumpet and orchestra will debut in 2013.
At fifteen years old, he formed and began directing the Cleveland Concertante.
En el mundo del jazz ha trabajado con Ian Carr, Dave Brubeck y Evan Park, en el rock con Elvis Costello, Ofra Haza, Björk, Paul McCartney y Lou Reed, en el flamenco y más allá del flamenco con Raimundo Amador, Estrella Morente, Tomatito y Kiko Veneno y en la música clásica con Yehudi Menuhin, Charles Rosen, Dimitri Ashkenazy, María Joao Pires, Anne Sophie von Otter y Ara Malikian, entre otros.
In the jazz world, he has worked with Ian Carr, Dave Brubeck, and Evan Park; in the rock world with artists such as Elvis Costello, Ofra Haza, Björk, Paul McCartney and Lou Reed; in that of flamenco and beyond with Raimundo Amador, Estrella Morente, Tomatito and Kiko Veneno, and with classical artists such as Yehudi Menuhin, Charles Rosen, Dimitri Ashkenazy, María Joao Pires, Anne Sophie von Otter and Ara Malikian, among others.
His arrangements of the music of Shostakovich, Gershwin and Falla are highly demanded, and his soundtracks (Siempre Hay Tiempo, 2009) and songs (Cartas a Julieta, 1992) have received very positive reviews. Some of these songs have been performed by Miguel Poveda, Chris Porter, and Björk among others, and his ballet (Harold in Islington, published by OUP) has been Thomas’ most widely performed work (through tours in Canada and the US with the David Earl Dance Theatre). The work on his most recent project includes the direction and arranging of songs from the album La flor del frío by Enrique Moratalla.
As a guest director, Michael has worked with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, the North London Symphony Orchestra, the Britten-Pears Orchestra, the Malaga Philharmonic [Filarmónica de Málaga], the Seville Royal Symphony Orchestra [Real Orquesta de Sevilla], the Córdoba Orchestra [Orquesta de Córdoba], the Terrassa Orchestra [Orquesta de Terrassa], the Choir of the Community of Madrid [Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid], and the orchestra and choir for Radio Televisión Española [Orquesta y Coro de Radio Televisión Española].
Michael is the head director of the Almeria City Orchestra [Orquesta Ciudad de Almería], the Youth Orchestra of Southern Spain [Joven Orquesta del Sur de España] and the Bética Chamber Orchestra [Orquesta Bética de Cámara], a group established by Manuel de Falla in 1924. He has worked on many occasions with youth orchestras such as the Musikene Orchestra, the Youth Choir and Orchestra of Andalucía [Orquesta y Coro Joven de Andalucía], which he directed for 10 years, the National Youth Orchestra of Spain [Joven Orquesta Nacional de España], the Bicentennial Youth Orchestra [Joven Orquesta del Bicentenario], the University of Melbourne Orchestra, the Soloists of London, the Conservatory Orchestra of Malmö (Sweden), the Youth Baroque Orchestra of Andalucía [Joven Orquesta Barroca de Andalucía], the Almeria Youth Orchestra [Orquesta Joven de Almería] and many more.
During his career, he has enjoyed close artistic relationships with the composer Witold Lutoslawski and with the songwriters Elvis Costello and Kiko Veneno.
Michael holds an Honorary Masters from the University of Teeside and has worked as a professor at the University of Middlesex and the University of Cambridge, to name a few.