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Michael Form (Recorder, Flute, Conductor)

Born: Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

The German recorder player, flautist and conductor, Michael Form, studied at the Hochschule für Musik Köln, where he graduated twice, in 1990 and 1992 cum laude. He went on to study at the Rotterdams Conservatorium and subsequently specialised in Medieval and Renaissance music at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel/Switzerland). Apart from his interest in Early Music, he found one of his most eminent teachers in the Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache. He was granted scholarships from Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung (SWF, Baden-Baden), Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris) and Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst DAAD. As a flute player he was awarded at important competitions such as Internationaler Musikwettbewerb der ARD (Munich), Concours de musique contemporaine ICARE 88 (Paris) and Concours Musica Antiqua (Bruges).

Michael Form is considered to be one of the leading recorder players. He regularly performs at prestigious European festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Händel-Festspiele Halle und Karlsruhe, Mosel Musikfestival, Villa Musica Mainz (Germany), Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht (Holland), Festival van Vlaanderen, Laus Polyphonie Antwerpen (Belgium), Les Museiques Basel, Lucerne Festival, Freunde Alter Musik Basel (Switzerland), Festwochen der Alten Musik Innsbruck (Austria), Brixner Initiative Musik und Kirche, Musica e Poesia a San Maurizio Milano (Italy), Automne Musical au Château de Versailles, Festival de Musique de la Chaise-Dieu, Festival Baroque de Pontoise, Rencontres de Musique Medievale de Thoronet, Bach à Silvacane, La Roque d'Antheron, Theatre de la Ville, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, Opéra National de Bordeaux (France), Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), Concentus Moraviae (Czech Republic).

Michael Form works together with famous artists and groups such as the Taverner Players (Andrew Parrott), the Ensemble Gilles Binchois (Dominique Vellard) and Café Zimmermann. As a soloist he has performed with various orchestras such as NDR Radio-Philharmonie Hannover and L'Orchestre de Chambre de Genève. For the last 15 years he has been performing duo recitals with the German harpsichordist Dirk Börner.

Currently Michael Form works chiefly as a conductor with his ensemble Les Flamboyants, which had its début in 1997 and has been performing since then all over Europe and in New Zealand. The group is specialised in the neglected instrumental repertoire of the Renaissance, however, it had its first big success in 1998 with a large tour dedicated to the 900th birthday of Hildegard von Bingen. In 2007 Michael Form and Dirk Börner founded the ensemble Aux Pieds du Roy in order to put into practice the results of an extant research project for the Schweizerische Nationalfonds on French baroque Belle Danse.

Michael Form has a considerable reputation as a teacher: already at the age of 21 he received a lectureship at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, from 2000 until 2002 he had been teaching medieval flute playing at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Since 2003 he is Professor at the Hochschule der Künste Berne (Switzerland). He has been an invited teacher at the Conservatorio superior de música de Canarias (Spain) and has given master classes at the Meistersinger-Konservatorium Nürnberg (Germany), at the Anton Bruckner Universität Linz (Austria), at the Conservatory of Sofia (Bulgaria), at the Conservatoire national supérieur musique et danse Lyon (France), at the Universidad de Alicante, at the Festival de Música Antigua de Gijón (Spain) and at the Festival Internazionale di musica antica FIMA Urbino (Italy).

In 2002 Michael Form started a second career as an opera and orchestra conductor. After having directed the Baroque orchestra of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis for several years, emphasising on a new approach to French orchestra music as well as experimenting with historical conducting techniques, he was appointed to conduct the orchestra of the FIMA Urbino, the biggest Early Music Festival in Italy. Subsequently, he directed the Ensemble Baroque du Léman, the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, the Niedersächsische Staatsphilharmonie Hannover and the Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen. In 2004 he had a remarkable success with Les Indes Galantes by Jean-Philippe Rameau in Lausanne. Since 2006, he may be considered to be the central artistic figure at the festival Winter in Schwetzingen: Several German first performances of operas by Antonio Vivaldi have been rewarded with big applause by the audience as well as by the international press. In 2007, Michael Form conducted the American first performance of A. Vivaldi's recently discovered opera Motezuma at the Teatro de la Ciudad in Mexico City. In 2008, together the French harpsichordist Marc Meisel, he founded the Orchestre Atlante, performing on period instruments and specialising in a late Baroque and Classical symphonic repertoire. In 2012, he will conduct the opera Alessandro by George Frideric Handel at the 35th Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe and Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo by Emilio de' Cavalieri with the Orchestre Atlante at the Frankfurt Opera house. As a guest conductor he has been invited by the Oldenburg State Orchestra.

His live concerts have been recorded by almost all German radio stations. His CDís for Raumklang Musikproduktion, Alpha and Edition Ambronay have received several awards such as Diapason d'or and Choc du Monde de la Musique.

Source: FIMA - Fondazione Italiana per la Musica Antica ( 2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2013)

Michael Form: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Michael Form (FIMA)


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