Conductor Michael Woods


Michael Woods - Australian cross-over conductor (dirigent/dirijor)

Michael Woods studied trombone at the Victorian College of the Arts. He performed as a principal player in the Australian Youth Orchestra and all the major Australian symphony, opera, ballet and Pops orchestras. As a 21 year old, he won the audition for a permanent principal position in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. His graduate conducting qualification comes from the University of Melbourne where he studied with international British conductor, John Hopkins, OBE and was involved in the Symphony Australia conducting program. He also studied musical theatre and then choral conducting with Judith Clurman at the Juilliard School in New York and orchestral conducting with Kirk Trevor in the Czech Republic.

As a cross-over conductor in Australia, Europe and Asia, he has appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, Australian Pops Orchestra, Orchestra of the Stars, Adelaide Symphony, Australian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra at St Paul’s, Martinu Philharmonic in the Czech Republic and Bucharest Sinfonia in the famous Romanian Ateneum. For the stage, he conducted a 14-city European tour of The Who’s Tommy. His European recordings include the four symphonies of Robert Schumann with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.

He has travelled to Europe many times - first to perform Symphonic Pink Floyd with the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchestra in the Berlin Konzerthaus, before directing nine concerts with violinist, Michael Barenboim and the Leipzig Kammerphilharmonie in the Gewandhaus and the Berlin Sinfonietta in the Philharmonie. He travelled to Zagreb and Zadar, to conduct Music for the People (From Bach to Lennon) concerts with the Zagreb Philharmonic. He then made return cross-over visits to Romania for Music for the People (Muzica pentru Toti) and Mozart Festival concerts in Valcea and Bucharest and for Musical Jewels and Eye of the Tiger! concerts in Bucharest, Giurgiu and Ramnicu-Valcea. He continues to travel regularly to Croatia and Romania, where he has also conducted Symphonic Pink Floyd concerts with the Valcea and Bacau Filarmonicas. In London, he has conducted major choral works of Faure and Vivaldi with the Belmont Ensemble and the English Chamber Choir at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square. Prior to the pandemic, he returned to St Martin’s to conduct Bach, Handel and Vivaldi and then to the Malaysian Philharmonic for two Symphonic Pink Floyd concerts and to Japan and Romania for Schumann symphony concerts. He was also working with “Jaz” Coleman’s Kashmir: Symphonic Led Zeppelin.

Apart from cross-over work, Michael Woods has continued to direct The Chamber Orchestra at St Paul’s in concerts including Mozart Masses and Handel Anthems, as well as classical and romantic symphonies of Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn and Mendelssohn. His local opera involvement has included the preparation of Puccini's La Rondine and Tosca, Verdi's Stiffelio and Otello and the Joan Sutherland Story for Melbourne City Opera. He has also conducted Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, Bellini’s Norma, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, and Puccini’s Il Tabarro and La Boheme and Bizet's Carmen for Millennium Opera in Melbourne. He has also prepared Rossini's La Scala di Seta  

At Melbourne Recital Centre, he has conducted two Symphonic Pink Floyd concerts, A Nutcracker Christmas! and Symphonic Led Zeppelin with Melbourne Ballet Orchestra. These concerts followed on from three Christmas with the Chamber Orchestra at St Paul's, four The Genius of Early Mozart, three Christmas Fireworks!, three Beethoven's Christmas! and three Christmas Serenade! concerts. He conducted Italian Flute Magic! featuring international virtuoso flautist, Luisa Sello, with whom he returned to northern Italy to perform at the Festival Udine Castello. He finished last year with another Beethoven's Christmas! concert in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall.