Michael has conducted the CBSO in a number of performances over the past three years, and impressed audiences, critics and the Orchestra alike when he stood in for the CBSO's Music Director, Sakari Oramo, at extremely short notice in December 2004. Sakari's own conducting career began in similar circumstances when the conductor of the Finnish orchestra for which he was Concertmaster fell ill and a last-minute replacement was sought.
Michael started learning the violin at the age of 9, going on to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and joining the CBSO in 1992. It was whilst studying at the Conservatoire that he first started conducting, under the tuition of Jonathan Del Mar. Since then Michael has conducted the Birmingham Philharmonic and the Sinfonia of Birmingham, and has benefited from Sakari Oramo's inspiration and advice.
Michael's conducting work with the CBSO to date has included a number of Schools and Family Concerts, a performance of Dvor·k's Serenade at the Aldeburgh Festival, conducting the CBSO in Centenary Square at ArtsFest 2004, producing a dramatic interpretation of the world premiere of Richard Causton's Between Two Waves of the Sea, conducting the CBSO's Benevolent Fund concert and recording three tracks for Classical Discoveries CD for The Birmingham Post.
Michael will take up his position as the CBSO's Assistant Conductor in June 2005, and his contract will run for three years. His duties will include conducting a selection of the family and schools concerts, conducting and assisting the CBSO Youth Orchestra, and at least one major Symphony Hall concert per season. Michael will retain his seat in the CBSO at times when he is not conducting.
Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive, said:
I am delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Seal as the CBSO's Assistant Conductor. It is rare for a player to come through the ranks, but he has already proved himself in a wide range of work so we are delighted to recognise his talent in this way.