Mike has been around music since the age of 9 when he first started playing the violin. He then progressed and began studying at the Birmingham Conservatoire. During his time at the Birmingham Conservatoire he studied the violin and composition under Jonathan del Mar, Sakari Oramo, Andris Nelsons, and Jorma Panula. He graduated from the Conservatoire in 1992 and joined the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as a violinist. He was a member for 22 years from 1992-2014.
In 2002 he made his debut as conductor with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He was then appointed Assistant Conductor in 2005 and promoted to Associate Conductor in 2011. This was the first in CBSO’s history and shows the special relationship he has with the Orchestra. He has conducted the CBSO in many prestigious concerts, which include the Aldeburgh and Malvern Festivals, London, and Manchester. He has also taken them on tours to Abu Dhabi in 2014 & 2015. Mike has given World and UK premieres of music by Jonathan Girling, Bent Sorenson, and Richard Carson. He has conducted concerts with the CBSO in Dortmund, Heidelberg, and Baden-Baden alongside Rudolf Buchbinder and Jonas Kaufmann, which received much critical acclaim.
Mike is a regular guest conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Ulster orchestras, worked with BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and London Philharmonic Orchestra
Internationally Mike has conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Orquestra Academia del Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colon, Orquestra Filarmonica de Buenos Aires and both RTE Concert and National Symphony Orchestras.
Mike has also conducted the CBSO Youth Orchestra with which he has a special bond and being involved with them since their foundation. He also serves as an Artistic Advisor and Conductor for the CBSOYO Academy. His love of working with young players also sees him regularly conducting at the Royal College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire.