Michael Thomas was born into a musical Belgian-British family.He began playing piano and violin from an early age and at the age of eleven founded one of the most prestigious chamber music groups in the world, the Brodsky Quartet, with which he performed worldwide for more than 25 years. He studied violin at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester) with Yossi Zivoni and at the Mozarteum (Salzburg) with Sandor Vegh and conducting with Timothy Reynish and Pierre Boulez.
Michael´s first compositions were a ´cello concerto, composed at fourteen years old, and numerous earlier string quartets. As a soloist he has performed on many occasions his Violin Concerto. His Trumpet Concerto was premiered by David Pérez in 2013.
He formed and conducted the Cleveland Concertante from the age of fifteen.
In the world of jazz he has worked with Ian Carr, Dave Brubeck y Evan Park, in rock with Elvis Costello, Ofra Haza, Björk, Paul McCartney and Lou Reed, in flamenco and beyond flamenco with Raimundo Amador, Estrella Morente, Tomatito and Kiko Veneno and in classical music with Yehudi Menuhin, Charles Rosen, Dimitri Ashkenazy, María Joao Pires and Anne Sophie von Otter, amongst others.
His arrangements of music by Shostakovich, Gershwin or Falla are frequently sought after and his film score (Siempre Hay Tiempo, 2009) y songs (Juliet Letters, 1992) have received good press. Some of his songs have been performed by, amongst others, Miguel Poveda, Chris Porter and Björk, and his ballet (Harold in Islington, published by Oxford University Press) is the work by Thomas that has been heard live on most occasions (tours of Canada and the States by David Earl Dance Theatre). One of his most recent projects has been the direction and arrangement of the songs for the album La flor del frío, by Enrique Moratalla.
As invited conductor Michael has worked with Bochum Symphony Orchestra, N8 Symphony of London, Britten-Pears Orchestra, la Filarmónica de Málaga, la Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, la Orquesta de Córdoba, la Orquesta de Terrassa, la Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, el Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid y la Orquesta y Coro de Radio Televisión Española.
Michael is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director for la Orquesta Ciudad de Almería, la Joven Orquesta del Sur de España y la Orquesta Bética de Cámara, the orchestra which Manuel de Falla created in 1924. He has worked on many occasions with youth orchestras such as la Orquesta de Musikene, la Orquesta y Coro Joven de Andalucía, which he directed for 10 years, la Joven Orquesta Nacional de España, la Joven Orquesta del Bicentenario, Melbourne University Symphony Orchestra, the Soloists of London, Malmö Conservatory Orchestra, la Joven Orquesta Barroca de Andalucía, la Orquesta Joven de Almería and many more.
He has enjoyed, throughout his carreer, close artistic relationships with the Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski and with singer-songwriters Kiko Veneno and Elvis Costello.
Michael is an Honorary Master of Teesside University and has been a visiting professor in, amongst other educational institutions, Middlesex and Cambridge universities.