Michael Garvey

Executive director at The Benedetti Foundation

Areas of expertise:


Michael Garvey is the Executive Director of the Benedetti Foundation. Michael is founding this start-up music education charity, working closely with the violinist Nicola Benedetti, to address the critical need for music education to be better resourced and better respected across the UK. Michael is establishing the Foundation from the ground up, building a board and governance structure; establishing policies and fundraising and putting in place an organisational culture that thrives on high quality, entrepreneurial and accessible activity for all.

Previously Michael was the Director of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales where he led the Orchestra through a series of ground-breaking projects bringing their work to an ever wider audience.

In 2015 BBC NOW’s landmark tour of South America saw their musicians deliver a music residency across the Welsh colony of Patagonia, including taking the Orchestra’s innovative work with special schools out of the UK for the first time, before continuing on for concert performances in several South American cities. In 2016 Michael appointed Xian Zhang to be the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor, the first time a women has held a titled position with any BBC orchestra. BBC NOW gave the first-ever ‘Relaxed Prom’ at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017 building on years of extensive community engagement work that sees the orchestra deliver regularly for primary and special schools across Wales. The Prom was nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society award in 2018.

Under Michael's leadership BBC NOW established its dual role of being both the National Orchestra of Wales as well as a BBC broadcast orchestra – serving and growing audiences in both areas and bringing the very highest quality music and musicians to the whole of Wales.

Michael was awarded the Juror’s Special Prize by the Institute of Directors at their 2018 Wales awards ceremony.

Looking even further back, Michael was Chief Executive of the Academy of Ancient Music. Establishing AAM Records, the Academy’s own record label, he also secured a role for the AAM as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant celebrations, which saw the orchestra, perform live to millions across the globe. Michael was general manager at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment before heading to the AAM, and has previously worked at Arts Council England and Classic FM.

Company Name: 
The Benedetti Foundation
Role / Position: 
Executive Director