Michael Bell MBE


Conductor biography

Michael Bell was born in Neath and studied music at Cardiff University.

After graduating, Michael formed Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra in 1982 and has conducted the orchestra for 36 years. His first concert with Hereford Symphony Orchestra was in Autumn 2019.

Michael has conducted an enormous and wide ranging repertoire with CPO, in almost 350 concerts, including symphonies by Mahler, Richard Strauss, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Shostakovich, as well as major orchestral works by Stravinsky, Ravel and Prokofiev, and many more besides.

Michael has always had a great enthusiasm for film music, and in 1994 introduced ‘A Night at the Movies’ as an annual feature of CPO’s repertoire. In December 2017 ‘A Night at the Movies’, celebrating the music of John Williams, was performed to the highest audience figures at St David’s Hall for thirteen years.

In 2010 Michael was invited to conduct the Brecknock Sinfonia at Brecon Cathedral, and has since become the orchestra’s regular conductor. Michael was invited to conduct the Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra in its summer concert in 2017 and returned to conduct the ASO’s Family Concert in December 2017

In the New Year’s Honours 2018 Michael was awarded an MBE in recognition of his work with the orchestra, an award made particularly special to Michael because he was nominated for the MBE by members of CPO.

Some things about Michael you may not know… he’s always nervous before concerts but enjoys talking to the audience; he doesn’t drive but is a keen cyclist and walker; he is an insatiable collector of CDs but can’t figure out streaming or downloading music; he’s a terrible cook; his favourite tipple is red wine, and favourite meal is food cooked by anyone else!