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Bizet Movements from Carmen Suites No1 & 2
Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from Spartacus
Grieg Piano Concerto
Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Mahler Adagietto from Symphony No5
Ravel Boléro

Michael Seal Conductor
Florian Mitrea Piano

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Michael Seal

Michael Seal Conductor

Michael Seal is the associate conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), a unique appointment which recognises his work as Assistant Conductor, and the special relationship he has built with the orchestra.

His in-depth knowledge of orchestras from an insider’s position (he was a violinist with the CBSO early in his career) gives him a unique perspective and he quickly builds rapport and trust with the orchestras he works with. His energy and enthusiasm are infectious and he has built a reputation for outstanding results, delivered with great charm and often on a tight, typically British rehearsal schedule.

Michael has worked with many of the UK’s finest orchestras, frequently being invited as guest conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, as well as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra.

Internationally, he has conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Joensuu City Orchestra, Orquesta Académica del Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires and both RTÉ Concert and National Symphony Orchestras.

Michael has a special bond with the CBSO Youth Orchestra, which he has been involved with since its foundation and has conducted on numerous occasions. He is also artistic advisor and conductor for the CBSOYO Academy, a chamber orchestra formed in 2007, and is passionate about working on ensemble playing and orchestral sound with orchestras at all levels.

His love of opera led to critically acclaimed performances of Puccini’s Il Trittico at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and he has assisted both Sakari Oramo and Andris Nelsons in opera performances of Peter Grimes, Carmen, Der Rosenkavalier, Lohengrin, Tristan und Isolde and The Flying Dutchman.

A champion of lesser-known British composers such as Bantock, Bax and York Bowen, he enjoys programming interesting repertoire and exploring connections between composers.

Last season, Michael made his debut with the Brussels Philharmonic, in addition to several appearances with the CBSO, various BBC Orchestras and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He makes his debut with Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic in 2019.

Florian  Mitrea

Florian Mitrea Piano

Described by Martha Argerich as ‘an outstanding young pianist’, Romanian/British pianist Florian Mitrea is the winner of the 2018 Royal Overseas League Piano Competition, and a double-laureate at the 2017 Scottish, 2017 Saint Priest, 2015 Hamamatsu and 2014 ARD Munich International Piano Competitions. He was also a major prize-winner at the 2018 Harbin International Competition in China and the 2016 James Mottram International Competition in Manchester, and he was joint-winner of the 2016 Verona International Piano Competition. In 2018 he was the top prize-winner at the New York International Piano Festival, after which he was invited to give his debut performance at Carnegie Hall.

He has performed in the UK in halls such as Bridgewater Hall, King’s Place, St John’s Smith Square, St Martin in the Fields and Colston Hall, and in Germany (the Bavarian Radio Studios – Munich and Schwetzingen Festspiele), Japan (Bunka Kaikan Hall in Tokyo and Sonic Concert Hall in Oomiya City), South Korea (Seoul Arts Centre), Poland (Szymanowski and Chopin Academies), Switzerland (Stadtcasino in Basel), and Romania (Romanian Athenaeum). He performed as soloist with the Philharmonia in London, Collegium Musicum in Basel, and the George Enescu Philharmonic and Romanian Radio Chamber Orchestra in Bucharest. He is a Making Music 2017-19 Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artist Award winner, a Kirckman Concert Society Artist for 2018-19, and he has performed for the Manchester Mid-Day Concert Society.

Reviewers have described Florian’s playing as having ‘stupendous virtuosity’ (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2017), ‘phenomenal precision throughout’ (The Herald, 2017), and presenting ‘a mixture of phenomenal technique and ravishing musical intelligence’ (The Cambridge Independent, 2018). His debut CD has been described as ‘a very personal and meaningful selection of music, elegantly presented and masterfully played, with a deep appreciation of and affinity with the folk heritage which lies at the heart of all this music. Highly recommended.’ ( The Cross-Eyed Pianist).

Florian trained under Flavia Moldovan and Gabriela Enasescu in Bucharest at the George Enescu Music College before winning a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Diana Ketler. He graduated with First Class Honours and the DipRAM Distinction, and he is now a teacher within the Piano Department. He has been invited to give masterclasses in Tokyo and Bucharest, and is the founder of the Hoinar Festival in Romania which comprises masterclasses and workshops for piano students from specialised music schools. He continues his own studies at the Imola Piano Academy under Boris Petrushansky.

In 2016 Florian was appointed a Kawai Global Artist, and in 2018 an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.