Besançon Conducting Competition

Michael is excited to be competing in the 2017 Besançon Young Conductors Competition in 2017



“… it looks like he has no idea what he’s doing.”

Vladimir Jurowski, principal conductor for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, has caught my attention today. Or rather, a comment from one of his followers on YouTube.

Honestly, when I see Jurowski conduct it looks like he has no idea what he’s doing… Kyle Tomlinson 2015

I quite like this comment because I think it is true to some extent. I think Jurowski has a total grasp of the music, as exemplified in this short extract below with the OAE performing Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. He is completely involved, and yet looks like he is taking inspiration from the musicians themselves. The reason some might say he has no idea is because he seems open to the thought that the performance can be a fresh experience. It makes me feel alive when I watch this in a conductor, and is so inspiring as a young professional.

Partners in Education

Yesterday I had the privilege of conducting Orchestra Vitae at a concert organised by the orchestras’ primary sponsor and education partner: The Foundation for International Education (FIE).

FIE hosts hundreds of international students who experience a unique study-abroad programme in London. The foundation has a strong focus on the arts, and every student in the Fall semester is invited to a special “Welcome to London” concert.

Cue Orchestra Vitae!


Day 1 of a contemporary opera

Never before has a Friday evening felt more like a Monday morning. Picture 50+ young adults in a giant opera studio spending their evening, amongst other things, running, rolling, shouting, jumping and singing. The Welsh National Youth Opera is in session!

This brief yet upbeat ice-breaker of a rehearsal was the first in a 6 month schedule that will finally lead to the performance of Kommilitonen!, an opera centred around three separate stories of students who fight against prejudice, racism, oppression and genoside. 


Learning how to bark orders at your loyal followers was a new experience for some of the cast. Likewise, learning how to follow meaningless and mundane orders was equally challenging for a conductor such as myself. These ranged from “kneel on the floor and pray” to “prance like a pony… Do it seriously”. It was an interesting test of human obedience and dominance. 

Needless to say, the next 6 months will be eye opening, action packed and extremely exciting as I yet again experience something completely different. Roll on #WNOKom