Making great music at the Heart of Scotland

About the conductor

Michael Graham is a conductor and composer based in Edinburgh. He completed undergraduate and master degrees in music at the University of Edinburgh and was awarded the final year Ian Pitt-Watson Conducting Prize.

Since then, Michael has continued to study under some of the UK’s leading conducting teachers, including Alasdair Mitchell, Sian Edwards, Gary Walker, and Denise Ham. In February 2020, he took conducting lessons with Andris Veismanis at the Latvian Academy of Music in Riga. This summer he received funding to study technique and orchestral repertoire with Robert Houlihan and Geoffrey Spratt in Ireland, and with John Longstaff and Dominic Greer at Girton College, Cambridge. In October 2022, he participated on an exclusive conducting masterclass with Martyn Brabbins, Musical Director of English National Opera.

He has thrice received Young Conductor Awards from the Association of British Choral Directors, also completing the Association’s Apprentice Conductor scheme where he received mentorship from Alan Tavener and the Strathclyde University Chamber Choir. Michael was delighted to receive the Wagner Society of Scotland’s Bayreuth Scholarship 2019 which funded a study tour of Germany.

Enjoying a broad portfolio career, Michael currently conducts the Bathgate Concert Orchestra, Falkirk Tryst Orchestra, Edinburgh Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra, and Edinburgh Recorder Ensemble. In 2020, Michael was delighted to be asked to become the conductor of Edinburgh’s world-notorious Really Terrible Orchestra. 2023 will also see Michael’s second year as conductor of the British Fretted Orchestra, the national mandolin-guitar ensemble. Alongside composition and arrangement work, he writes and reviews for several music publications, regularly collaborates in chamber music projects as a keyboardist, and serves as Director of Music at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Portobello. This next year will see Michael conduct additional guest engagements in Durham, Ipswich, Taunton, Warwick, and York, alongside festival appearances in Edinburgh and Bury St Edmunds.