MICHAEL SPENCER – Biography
Michael Spencer is a widely experienced, internationally based arts education practitioner and administrator with considerable practical knowledge of arts based training practice, and particular experience of the use of new media in the enhancement of arts education delivery. He was a member of the London Symphony Orchestra working with artists as diverse as Leonard Bernstein, Sir Simon Rattle, Paul McCartney and Deep Purple, and contributed extensively to the LSO’s celebrated Discovery programme. He subsequently became Head of Education (Adult and Community) at the Royal Opera House where he devised and created the innovative interactive software package In2arts:opera which is now used as a key resource in all secondary schools in England. This was adopted by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SST) as their main performing arts training resource in their national CPD initiative for teachers.
He has considerable experience of Japan and is advising the SSAT in creating links with education networks there as part of their iNet programme. As education consultant for the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras he has worked with more than 20 of their membership organisations throughout Japan, and this year devised and implemented the first combined orchestras educational concert at the Kioi Hall, Tokyo, in the presence of the Empress of Japan. He is advisor on the creation of a new performance and education centre for the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo, the first of its kind in Asia, and has been invited by a number of other venues, including the Suntory Hall, to set up a range of teacher training and education initiatives during 2006. He is a member of the UK Japan Parliamentary Group and in 1999 was the first individual to receive a Japan Festival Award.
As a trainer he has worked extensively in the US, South Africa and Norway and this year will become creative director of the new training initiative to be started by Unilever Japan. He is also director of the two companies Creative Arts Net and Sound Strategies.
He is currently leading a team to develop the IT resources around Peter & the Wolf.