Michael (1921 – )
||Born in England in 1921, Edward Michael
spent his childhood and adolescence in various countries in
the Middle East but found himself in London when, aged 18,
war broke out in.
He enrolled in the R.A.F as ground personnel.
the interest that the young man showed in music, the wife
of a military chaplain taught him the basics of composition,
and barely two years later, he entered one of his works
in a contest in London. He won, enabling him to hear the
work, a scherzo for orchestra ("Dyonisies"), performed
in the Albert Hall by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
- conducted by John Hollingsworth.
After the war, he enrolled in the Guildhall
School of Music where he quickly obtained a first prize in composition
and a second one for orchestral direction. At the same time, he
worked privately, studying composition, initially with Bertold
Goldschmidt then with Matyas Seiber, and also studying the violin
with Max Rostal.
From 1946 to 1950, new works followed one another. In 1947, he
gained a first prize for orchestral direction and started to appear
as a solo violinist. He gave many concerts in which he interpreted,
with much success, some thirty-five concertos from his repertoire
as well as about fifty sonatas and more than two hundred other
parts for the violin. He quickly started to enjoy a certain reputation
He was however, always very attracted by the smoothness of French
music. In 1950 he decided to go to Paris to study under Nadia
Boulanger, and worked intensely under her direction for two years.
Because of painful health problems, he was forced to give up
his career as a solo violinist and conductor. From then on, he
devoted himself exclusively to composition and, considering that
his work was in the vein of French music, decided to adopt the
French spelling of his Christian name- "Edouard".
He composed a great number of orchestral works amongst which
was a Mass for mixed choruses, two string orchestras, celesta,
toothing-stone, glockenspiel and percussions.
In 1954, he gained the Vercelli prize for a Psalm for male voice
choir. Two years later, thanks to Nadia Baker, his mass was played
by the orchestra of Radio-France directed by Eugene Bigot.
The following year, his "Night" for flute and orchestra
won the Lilli Boulanger prize in the United States judged by a
jury which included Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copeland.
In 1998, a CD of some of his chamber music was released in Belgium
and obtained excellent reviews.
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