Conductor Michael Young was the winner of the Audience Prize at the Eighth Leeds Conducting Competition and is now the Artistic Director and co-founder of Beethoven Orchestra for Humanity, a crowd-funded, elite London-based chamber orchestra 'fusing topical talk and classical music for today's world.'
Previously he has been Music Director for Charities Philharmonia and London Youth Opera and founding conductor of Vanbrugh Ensemble. He has been assistant conductor to Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra for their Britten Centenary performances in London, Vienna and Moscow. Michael has also assisted Bernard Haitink and Ed Gardner and in 2014 joined the music staff at Grange Park Opera, as cover conductor and assistant chorus master.
Described by the Guardian as an 'Electric Conductor', Michael won the audience prize and Viva award at the Leeds Conductors' Competition and came third in the Ninth International Pedrotti Conducting Competition. In the UK Michael has worked with the English National Opera, Fabulous Beast Company and the Orchestra of Opera North amongst others. Overseas Michael has conducted orchestras including the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Perù, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Haydn di Trento e Bolzano and the Ensemble Zandonai.
Michael began conducting whilst an undergraduate at the University of Leeds where he was awarded the Lord Snowden Prize for raising the profile of classical music at the university. Here he formed the Leeds University Union Symphony Chorus and established a series of charity concerts in aid of Cancer Research UK at Leeds Town Hall that have continued to this day.
Michael loves to conduct music from a wide range of the symphonic and operatic repertoire. He's also very dedicated to conducting in unconventional settings that appeal to those unfamiliar or otherwise put off by classical music. He especially enjoys works by the major 20th century composers, such as Bartok, Mahler, Shostakovich and Stravinsky as well as lesser-known composers, including Phillip Sawyers, John Joubert and Kaija Saariaho. Michael has worked on premieres of Joubert's opera 'Jane Eyre', the UK premiere of Saariaho's Terra Memoria, Sawyers' Third Symphony and a host of works by young composers as part of a Young Composers Competition that he co-organised. Michael is also very much attracted by the Romantic and 20th century repertoires - from Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Wagner, whilst adoring the great baroque and classical repertoire from Bach and Purcell to Haydn and Mozart.
As a pianist, bassist and drummer, Michael has also enjoyed writing, arranging and performing with rock bands Kamyra, Silus and Myernark. Michael is a proud alumnus of Agnes Kory at the Bela Bartok Centre for Musicianship.
Photos: Lonny Spence
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