Born in Britain, the son of Viennese Jewish parents, Roll began his studies with Fanny Waterman at the age of six and was a prolific performer from an early age. He made his concerto debut at ten with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and at the age of twelve, played Schumann’s piano concerto with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Sir Malcom Sargent and at fourteen Beethoven’s third concerto with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir John Barbirolli.
Conductors, Orchestras & Festivals
His success at Leeds led to appearances worldwide, working with conductors such as Boulez, Boult, Giulini, Haitink, Masur, Previn, Sawallisch, Sanderling and more recently Gergiev and Steinberg. Orchestras have included the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus and Boston Symphony orchestras, with whom Michael made his American debut in 1974 with Sir Colin Davis. International festivals have included Vienna, Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Aldeburgh, where he performed together with Benjamin Britten. He has also appeared on sixteen occasions at the Promenade concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
His engagements later this year which coincide with the 50th anniversary of his Leeds win include concerto performances in Budapest and Nuremburg and also a return to the London Philharmonic. Furthermore he will appear in Wigmore Hall’s International Piano Series in London in 2015/16.
Michael is married to the Bulgarian pianist Juliana Markova and they have one son, Max, a young actor.