Michael Round is a solo and orchestral pianist, teacher, accompanist, arranger, writer, music editor and occasional conductor. His playing career has included over 25 years’ work as keyboard-player with the four main London and other orchestras plus less conventional work as Palm Court Hotel pianist in the Arabian Gulf—plus a short season of excursions to Venice and back, playing piano while being propelled backwards through Europe at over 125mph on the Orient Express.
As soloist or orchestral pianist Michael has travelled to over 20 different countries (including seven visits to Japan and three to Brazil), and played on film soundtracks ranging from the first ‘Star Wars’ movie to ‘Zulu Dawn’, ‘Return to Oz’ and ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’. He has played keyboard in around 30 West End musicals, and was for a time Musical Director of Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with Maureen Lipman, and also of Joan Rivers’ UK tours (2002–4).
Michael writes for Music Teacher, International Piano and other Rhinegold magazines, contributing regular reviews of new books and piano music for Music Teacher. His series ‘The Celeste-Player’s Guide to the Orchestra’ ran for around 20 episodes in Classical Music, and his ‘Diary of an Accompanist’ currently appears in International Piano (formerly Piano) magazine. He is the regular co-author of the Teachers’ Notes for ABRSM and Trinity-Guildhall piano grade-exam syllabuses.
Michael’s work as arranger includes brass-ensemble pieces for the Wallace Collection (which toured Europe with them in 1992) and orchestrations of Ravel piano works, performed in London’s Royal Festival Hall by the Philharmonia under Leonard Slatkin, and in Tokyo and Washington D.C. under Vladimir Ashkenazy (who also recorded them with the NHK Symphony Orchestra for the Japan-based Octavia label). Michael is also arranger for, pianist with, and conductor of the St Clements Wind Ensemble, a group founded in 2004 which performs regularly in Germany, London and Edinburgh.
Michael has been an accompanist since his schooldays. Currently he accompanies the Kingston University Chamber Choir and main chorus. He has taught piano at Kingston for over 30 years, and also taught academic studies at Trinity College of Music throughout the 1990s.