This week I have been studying Schubert’s 5th Symphony. Composed when he was only 19 years of age in 1816, the first movement, marked Allegro, is absolutely joyous and flows like water from phrase to phrase. I have learnt that Schubert did not mark Allegro ‘con brio’ because he did not understand there to be … Continue reading Music this week
This week I am practicing my new arrangement of the suite BWV 1004 for 7-String Guitar, and studying Beethoven’s 8th Symphony. They are both extraordinary works. The Beethoven has no slow movement! It goes from stately to playful to regal to joyous, all in brisk tempi. Having recently looked again at Haydn’s Sieben letzten Worte … Continue reading Music this week
Conductor and Classical Guitarist Michael Poll has performed across North America, South America, and Europe, including in Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, and the National Theatre of Panama. His debut guitar recording, 7-String Bach, was called ‘masterful’ by Gramophone magazine, and Wholenote praised his ‘Warm, rich, and full tone’. Since its release by Orchid Classics in 2018, 7-String Bach has been streamed over 1 million times on Spotify and Apple Music, and was featured on the BBC and Classic FM.
In 2022 Poll conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Lancaster House in a programme of new works by Ian Venables, Odaline de la Martinez, Daniel Thomas Davis, and Shruthi Rajasekar. Upcoming conducting engagements include the Lancaster Arts Chamber Orchestra and the Cornell University Chorale, for which he will serve as music director for the current season. Upcoming guitar performances include solo recitals for the Exchange in London and the Hay Festival, duo performances with flautist Emi Ferguson, and Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.
From 2014-2018 Poll was Music Director of the Goodensemble Orchestra in London, where he led a Gala in honour of The Queen, a cycle of Beethoven piano concerti, and premiers by David Conte, Joseph Stillwell, David Grahame Taylor, Igor Maia, and Raymond Yiu. He also conducted Bloomsbury Opera’s 2018 Le Nozze di Figaro and 2019 Cosi Fan Tutte, during which season he was an intern assistant conductor to Franz Welser-Möst at the Salzburg Festival.
A 2010 Fulbright and a 2012 Marshall Scholar, Poll holds a BA in music summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year, and was concurrently a visiting student at the Curtis Institute of Music in conducting with Virginia Allen and solfège with Eric Sessler.
In 2012 Poll received the Graduate Performance Diploma from the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznan, Poland, in 2014 the MPerf degree from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he was a Junior Fellow from 2015-2017, and was awarded a Doctorate in Music in 2022.
Poll’s teachers have included Frederic Hand, Lukasz Kuropaczewski, Emiliano Pardo-Tristán, Benjamin Verdery, Piotr Zaleski, Robert Brightmore, and Leonid Grin. Poll has been a member of the faculty of the Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music and the Polish Guitar Academy, a fellow of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and is currently a Klarman Fellow at Cornell University. He is the founder of SoundingLab, a charity that uses music to inspire young people to engage with mentorship and improve their educational outcomes, and serves on the Board of the Southwark Music Service in London.