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
Classical guitarist and conductor 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 album, 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 April 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.
From 2014-2018 Poll served as Music Director of the Goodensemble Orchestra in London, where performances included a Gala in honour of The Queen, a cycle of Beethoven piano concerti, new works by David Conte, Joseph Stillwell, David Grahame Taylor, Igor Maia, and Raymond Yiu, and a complete St John Passion. He also conducted Bloomsbury Opera’s 2018 Le Nozze di Figaro and 2019 Cosi Fan Tutte. In 2019 he was an intern assistant conductor for the critically acclaimed Salome at the Salzburg Festival where he conducted rehearsals in the studio.
Poll’s Three Preludes for solo guitar were premiered at the Dresden String Spring festival and his music has recently been performed in New York, London, San Francisco, and Portugal. He is also the recipient, alongside actor Alice Victoria Winslow, of a Barbican Centre commission to produce and perform a staged version of ‘To Sea in Sieve’ (Music: Elizabeth Ogonek, Poetry: Sophia Veltfort) and ‘Platero y yo’ (Music: M. Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Poetry: J. R. Jimenez) in the Milton Court Theatre.
A 2010 Fulbright and a 2012 Marshall Scholar, Poll holds a BA in music summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and was a visiting student at the Curtis Institute of Music in conducting with Virginia Allen and solfège with Eric Sessler.
In 2012 he received the Graduate Performance Diploma from the 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. 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 has held scholarships to the Aspen Music Festival and the European American Musical Alliance.