As a young boy, Michael learned to play the mandolin and performed regularly with the Edinburgh Ukrainian Mandolin Orchestra. At the age of 11, he took up guitar and in 1978 became the first guitarist to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Michael has performed numerous recitals throughout the UK as a soloist, accompanist and member of the Edinburgh Guitar Quartet, as well as giving concerto performances. He has broadcast on both BBC and commercial radio. Several original works have been dedicated to him, most notably Threnody (1990) by the Turkish Armenian composer Gilbert Biberian. Throughout Michael’s illustrious teaching career, over 30 of his students have progressed to full-time musical studies at conservatoires and universities in the UK.
In 1999, he was nominated for Yamaha Instrumental Teacher of the Year.
In 2004, Michael was appointed Head of the Instrumental Music Service in Edinburgh and managed 80 instrumental teachers. He was also responsible for the musical education of around 5,000 pupils. As chair of the Heads of Instrumental Teaching Scotland, he organised an education conference (2008) which attracted over 1,000 teachers from all over Scotland.
Michael’s introductory guitar book The Guitar Tree was first published in 2009 and to date has sold almost 3,000 copies. In 2012, he returned to full-time teaching and hopes to write new didactic material. He now teaches in Edinburgh schools, for the Royal Conservatoire’s Junior Conservatoire and St. Mary’s specialist music school.