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Michael O'Donnell

Michael O’Donnell

Principal, Oboe

The Sylvia Fuller Chair

Michael O’Donnell was born in Newcastle, but spent most of his childhood growing up in Perthshire, Scotland. He took up the oboe aged 13 and two years later gained piano and oboe scholarships to attend the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Junior Department, studying with Stephen West. During these years he played principal oboe and cor anglais with the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and Great Britain respectively. Mike moved to London in 2002 to study with Christopher Cowie and Gareth Hulse at the Royal College of Music as a Foundation Scholar, graduating in 2006 with 1st class honours.

Mike was appointed 2nd oboe in the Irish Chamber Orchestra in 2009. Prior to this he worked as a freelance oboist in London playing guest 2nd oboe with many orchestras around the country, also appearing as guest principal oboe with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra amongst others.

Mike joined Royal Northern Sinfonia on cor anglais and 2nd oboe in 2010 and lives in Ryton with his wife Rebecca, also an oboist, and their two boys. In his spare time Mike enjoys cooking, cycling and constantly renovating their derelict house.