Michael Seal holds the position of Associate Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), a unique appointment that recognises his work as Assistant Conductor, and the special relationship he has built with the orchestra.
His in-depth knowledge of orchestras from an insider’s position (he was a violinist with the CBSO early in his career) gives him a unique perspective and he quickly builds rapport and trust with the orchestras he works with. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious and he has built a reputation for outstanding results, delivered with great charm and often on a typically British tight rehearsal schedule.
Michael has worked with many of the UK’s finest orchestras, frequently being invited as guest conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, as well as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ulster Orchestra.
Internationally, he has conducted the Brussels Philharmonic, WDR Funkhausorchester Köln, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Orquesta Académica del Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and both RTÉ Concert and National Symphony Orchestras.
Michael has a special bond with the CBSO Youth Orchestra, conducting them on numerous occasions, and being involved with them since their foundation. He is also Artistic Advisor and Conductor of the CBSOYO Academy, a chamber orchestra formed in 2007.
His love of opera led to critically acclaimed performances of Puccini’s Il Trittico at the Birmingham Conservatoire. He has also assisted both Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons in opera performances of Peter Grimes, Carmen, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Tristan & Isolde and The Flying Dutchman.
During the global pandemic of 2020/21, Michael started his podcast, ‘a mic on the podium’, which is a weekly interview with another prominent conductor. It has become highly successful, gaining rave reviews and, due to its unique format, it has now been placed in the National Sound Archive at the British Library.
The concert season 2022/3 sees him return to the CBSO, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra as well as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, and WDR Funkhausorchester. Michael made his debut with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in Finland in March 2023, leading to an immediate re-invitation. He made his debut with Finland’s Kuopio Symphony Orchestra and cellist Matthew Barley in May 2023.