Lord Berkeley of Knighton

Michael Fitzhardinge Berkeley, Baron Berkeley of KnightonCBE (born 29 May 1948) is a British composer and broadcaster on music. He currently serves as one of the Vice Presidents of Joyful Company. His father, Lennox Berkeley, was also a gifted composer and is well-represented within our repertoire, and his godfather was Benjamin Britten.

With such an auspicious introduction to the musical world, it is perhaps no surprise that Michael’s gift for music was evident from an early age, and he was a chorister at Westminster Cathedral. His musical education continued at the Royal Academy of Music and later under Academy Award nominated composer Richard Rodney Bennett.

In 1977, Michael was awarded the Guinness Prize for Composition, which was followed by his appointment as Associate Composer to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 1979. More recently, he was Composer-in-Association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2000 until 2009. Berkeley also acts as Visiting Professor in Composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and was Artistic Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival from 1995 to 2004.

Michael can be heard regularly on BBC Radio 3, presenting Private Passions, where he invites celebrities to share favourite pieces of music.

More information on Michael can be found on his own website here.

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