Being a Melbourne girl through and through, Michelle Wood feels incredibly lucky to be in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Joining the cello section in 2009 at the very same audition as her colleague Rohan de Korte, Michelle has led a varied career alongside that in the orchestra - most notably as sought-after chamber musician. During her time at the University of Melbourne, she became the founding cellist of the Tinalley String Quartet - subsequent winners of the 9th Banff International String Quartet Competition, and 2005 Australian (now Asia-Pacific) Chamber Music Competition. Performances with the quartet over 14 years led to both national and international acclaim, and representation in Europe, with tours to some of the finest concert halls in the world; including the Berlin Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Vienna Musikverein, and Frankfurt AlteOper. The quartet also performed extensively in the US and Canada. She has been mentored by cellists from the St Lawrence Quartet, Tokyo Quartet, and Keller Quartet amongst many others, and attended the Yale Summer School of Music, and International Musicians Seminars in Prussia Cove, UK.
Alongside the quartet`s illustrious career, Michelle’s chamber music performances have also extended to appearances as guest artist with the Australian String Quartet, Australia Ensemble, Stargaze Ensemble in Berlin, and festivals both in Australia and Europe. She has been broadcast widely on radio both in Australia and Europe, and has recorded to great acclaim with both Tinalley Quartet (Ravel & Debussy Quartets for Decca, and Haydn Op.20) and violinist Kristian Winther (Tzigane).
Whilst her orchestral home is with the MSO, she has been an acting Principal and Guest Associate Principal Cellist in both the Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras respectively, as well as a core player in the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra (performing as soloist and principal cellist). Michelle has also had the honour to perform and tour as part of the Australian World Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta in concerts at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne`s Hamer Hall, as well as its tour to India in 2015, and their recent 2018 season with Riccardo Muti.
Having been taught by teachers such as Arturs Ezergailis and Christian Wojtowicz during her study at Melbourne University, Michelle is now also a passionate teacher, and is involved in mentoring and teaching many young chamber musicians and cellists around Australia. She has worked with ensembles and students from the University of Melbourne, Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne Youth Orchestra programs and at the Australian Youth Orchestra`s National Music Camp as well as Fellowship Programs with the Melbourne Symphony.
2018 has also seen Michelle become founding Co-Artistic Director of international chamber music series ‘Concerts Sans Frontières’ (Concerts Without Borders) with her friend and colleague, Paris-based Australian pianist Bonnie Brown. Beginning as a result of their international performing and touring experiences, the series aims to provide opportunities for Australian artists and their international colleagues to showcase their talents in ‘pop-up’ chamber music events around the world - beginning firstly at the Australian Embassy in Paris.
Michelle performs on an instrument made in 1849 by Charles Boullangier, affectionately called Charlie.
Q. What is your favourite piece of music?
That’s a very difficult choice and likely to change by next week, but for now I will say the final trio from Act III of Strauss’ opera Der Rosenkavelier ‘Hab mir’s gelobt’. It’s the most unbelievably exquisite moment in the opera.
Q. Favourite thing to do offstage?
Swim! I spent much of my early life in a pool training up to 9 times a week and doing competitions, so whether it’s ocean swimming or laps at Prahran pool, it’s nice to get back in the water when I can.
Q. What’s something audiences may not know about you?
I used to play trombone!