Michael Henry

Composer & Musical Director

Michael is a composer, vocalist and BBTA award nominated musical director who studied clarinet and composition at the Royal College of Music 1981-85.

He has undertaken the dual role of composer and musical director on numerous projects including Mr Burns and They Drink It In The Congo (Almeida Theatre 2015-16), Boi Boi Is Dead (Leeds Playhouse, Watford Palace Theatre, Tiata Fahodzi 2015), Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre 2017-19), The Bloomsbury Songbook (Bloomsbury Festival 2017 & 18), The Long Song (Chichester Festival Theatre 2021), and the online theatrical anthology On Hostile Ground (hosted by the Royal & Derngate Theatre 2021). He has also been a vocalist, composer and MD with a cappella groups Flying Pickets and The Shout.

Other compositions include the opera Circus Tricks (for Tête A Tête's 2012 season), Rocket Symphony (a piece for 500 voices and fireworks, co-composed with Orlando Gough, for the European Capital of Culture, Linz 2009), Stand for 16 voices (BBC Proms 2006), and the internationally popular series of clarinet quartets Birdwatching. Composition awards include the Stanford, Horowitz and Cornelius Cardew prizes.

He has acted as musical director/performer in numerous productions including The Amen CornerEmperor and Galilean and Death and the King’s Horseman (National Theatre); FEAST (Young Vic); May Contain Food (Protein Dance Company) and The Pet Shop Boys' debut international tour in 1989.

Other work as musical director includes An OctoroonThree Sisters and FELA! (National Theatre); Our Lady Of Kibeho (Royal & Derngate, Theatre Royal Stratford); SYLVIA (Old Vic), and The Brothers Size (Young Vic).

Other live and studio backing vocal work includes George Michael, Chaka Khan, Ray Davies, Will Young, Diana Ross, Robbie Williams, Renato Zero and Michael Ball. He was also a featured soloist in Scott Walker’s Drifting & Tilting at the Barbican in 2008.