Conductor & musician 

(︎ Ed Orlik)

Based in London, conductor Michael Coleby has a particular interest in contemporary music and collaborating with composers.  At the age of 25 he made his professional debut, conducting the Deutsche Sinfonie - Orchester Berlin, at the Berlin Atonal Festival in a performance and shortly afterwards he was invited back to conduct the DSO academy orchestra. In recent years, Michael has worked as guest assistant conductor with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladamir Jurowski (2019-22), the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Orquestra Castile y Leon and the Deutsche Sinfonie – Orchester Berlin. In May 2023 Michael was guest assistant to composer & conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen for performances of his new organ concerto with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, acting as cover conductor during the rehearsal period. Michael has conducted the Brandenburger Symphoniker, Deutsche Sinfonie - Orchester Berlin, Sudewestdeutsches Kammerorchestra Pforzheim, Sudewestdeutsches Philharmonie Konstanz, Lohja City Orchestra, LEAD Festival Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and the Janus Ensemble.

During 2018-19, Michael was part of NEXT, a pioneering study programme with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. During the year, Michael worked with composers Brian Ferneyhough, Rebecca Saunders and Dai Fujikura, with recordings broadcast on Radio France Musique and BBC Radio 3. In 2019, Michael conducted a performance of Stockhausen’s Zeitmaße with BCMG musicians, a challenge of epic proportions interpreting an abstract flow of time, created through polyphonic tempo layering. During his time with BCMG Michael studied with conductors Sian Edwards, Clement Power, Julien Leroy and Emilio Pomarico. 

Michael has a passion for opera and most recently conducted and arranged a new opera by visual artist Trulee Hall for the Zabludowicz Collection in London. This formed part of Hot with Excess - a contemporary opera programme.  In 2015, Michael formed Janus Ensemble, a small London-based orchestra bringing together exceptional young musical talent to perform concerts and music education projects. The ensemble has performed a number of concerts in London, partnered with UK festivals and recorded music for the BBC. During April 2023, the ensemble commissioned and performed a new double bass concerto ‘Scenes from a Modern War’ by Ian Stephens.

Formerly a cellist in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Michael started conducting whilst studying for a degree in Music at the University of Bristol. During his final year at university, Michael conducted Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte under the guidance of Sir Roger Norrington. Michael has taken part in masterclasses with Martyn Brabbins, Atso Almila, Sian Edwards, Sir Roger Norrington, Hanu Lintu, Jukka- Pekka Saraste and Esa – Pekka Salonen and Johannes Schlaefli.