Michael Cole No. 2 Bassoon

Born in Langley, near Slough, Michael took piano lessons from the age of five. Then, aged nine, he moved to High Wycombe, sang in the Parish Church choir, and studied piano at the Bucks School of Music with George Frederic Bailey. Under his tutelage Michael became a soloist all through his teens in the annual orchestral concerto concert at the local Town Hall, conducted by his teacher.

A performance of Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto at the Wigmore Hall, aged fourteen, was his ticket to the National Youth Orchestra as a General Musician. Then, aged eighteen, he played Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto in the Parish Church, High Wycombe, with an orchestra conducted by a school friend. This performance secured him a Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied piano with Kendall Taylor and Bernard Roberts, and bassoon with Kerry Camden.

After a brief flirtation with film stardom – he was the concertina player in the cult movie The Wicker Man – the bassoon gradually assumed priority over the piano, eventually leading him to Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet Orchestra, where he played first bassoon for five years, and then, in 1986, to the Philharmonia.

Michael has always loved cycling holidays, particularly in France which he has traversed in one trip from top to bottom twice, to date. He also loves walking. Absolutely everywhere, but particularly in Wales and Scotland!