Director at BBC National Orchestra of Wales

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Michael Garvey is the Director of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales. Since joining BBC NOW in December 2013, Michael has led the Orchestra through a series of ground-breaking projects bringing their work to an ever wider audience.

In 2015 BBC NOW’s landmark tour of South America saw their musicians deliver a music residency across the Welsh colony of Patagonia, including taking the Orchestra’s innovative work with special schools out of the UK for the first time, before continuing on for concert performances in several South American cities. BBC NOW gave the first-ever ‘Relaxed Prom’ at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017 building on years of extensive community engagement work that sees the orchestra deliver regularly for primary and special schools across Wales. The Prom was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society award in 2018.

Michael has extended the orchestra’s reputation as the UK’s foremost soundtrack orchestra and in 2015 BBC NOW toured the UK for the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular arena tour – BBC NOW being affectionately known as the Doctor Who house band ! The orchestra can also be heard on BBC dramas such as War & Peace, The Man in the Orange Shirt, Crimson Field and the Natural History programme Hidden Kingdoms.

In October 2016 Michael appointed Xian Zhang to be the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, the first time a women has held a titled position with any BBC orchestra.

He is currently leading BBC NOW’s strategy to fulfil the orchestra’s dual role of being both the National Orchestra of Wales as well as a BBC broadcast orchestra – serving and growing audiences in both areas and bringing the very highest quality music and musicians to the whole of Wales.

Michael was awarded the Juror’s Special Prize by the Institute of Directors at their 2018 Wales awards ceremony.

Prior to BBC NOW, Michael was Chief Executive of the Academy of Ancient Music. Establishing AAM Records, the Academy’s own record label, he also secured a role for the AAM as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant celebrations, which saw the orchestra, perform live to millions across the globe. Michael was general manager at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment before heading to the AAM, and has previously worked at Arts Council England and Classic FM.

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BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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