Michael Arnold took up the French Horn in a band class at the age of 11, whilst living in America. Upon moving back home to Britain two years later, he became involved in the local music scene in Bath.

In 2008, Michael began studying at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Whilst in London, he performed in venues across the city including the Barbican Centre, St John’s Smith Square, LSO St Luke’s and Cadogan Hall. After graduating from Guildhall in 2012, Michael was awarded a John Fewkes (Leicestershire) Instrumentalist Award to study for a master’s degree at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), with support from the David Edwards Bursary Fund.

Whilst at RNCM, Michael was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, played in the ‘RNCM in the City’ chamber music series, the Beethoven Chamber Festival, at the Bridgewater Hall, the Montepulciano Fesival in Italy, and was accepted into the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Academy 2013 in Dortmund, Germany.

Since graduating from RNCM in 2014, Michael has been working as a freelancer in Manchester, appearing with orchestras such as the Hallé and the Manchester Concert Orchestra. In addition to playing in shows across the North West, he has led education work with the Trafford Music Service.

Michael takes a keen interest in chamber music and was a Live Music Now artist for two years with the Boreas Wind Quintet. In his spare time, he walks in the Peak District, plays badminton and enjoys (most of the time) watching Bristol Rovers.


What’s on your playlist right now?
In my car’s CD collection at the moment I have: Earth Wind and Fire, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Tom Lehrer, Flanders and Swann, Parade (a relatively new musical), Mozart symphonies, and the late Dvořák symphonies.

What is your favourite piece of music, and why do you love it?
Richard Strauss – Rosenkavalier. In my opinion it’s the best music that’s ever been written for the horn; a stunning opera written by a composer at the absolute height of his power.

What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
I take part in quite a bit of sport. I normally play 5-a-side football a couple of times a week, and badminton and squash whenever I can get a group together, as well as going running. I’m also a Bristol Rovers fan so try to get to as many games home and away as I can manage, which takes you to a few bits of the country you wouldn’t otherwise see! I also like walking in the country; Manchester is incredibly well-placed as you can get to the Peak District, Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and rural Lancashire within a couple of hours.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us
When I was nine, my family moved to America for three years. In our summer holidays we would always embark on epic road trips to try and get to as many of the 50 states as we could. Dad even had the airmiles from work to fly all five of us out to Hawaii. The only states that at least one member of the family didn’t visit were North Dakota and Louisiana. It’s always been me and my brother’s plan to do a trip back to the USA to revisit some of our favourite parts – and to make sure those final two states get ticked of the list!