Michael Brownlee Walker was born in Kariba and attended R.E.P.S., Amandas and Barwick primary schools. It wasn’t until he entered Plumtree School in 1990 that he started to learn the piano seriously – under the guidance of Felix Westwood. A few years later he started lessons with Derek Hudson at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music in Bulawayo.
In September 1996 Michael moved to London to continue his musical studies with Leslie Howard. The following year an Associated Board scholarship enabled him to enrol on an undergraduate degree course at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Whilst at the RNCM his teachers included Ka-Kit Tam, Paul Janes and Margaret Fingerhut. During his studies he was supported by grants from the Admiral Feteris Foundation, the Bircham and Co. Charitable Trust, the Golsoncott Foundation and the John Wakeford Scholarship Trust. In 2001 he was awarded the Macklin Bursary by the ABRSM, and in 2003 was awarded a grant from the Geoffrey Parsons Trust.
Since leaving college Michael has worked as pianist and accompanist around Britain. Together with Leslie Howard he has performed numerous piano duet and duo recitals – including the complete two-piano works by Rakhmaninov. After a programme of two-piano music by Grainger, Musical Opinion magazine wrote, “their mastery of this extraordinarily original musical idiom was a joy to hear”. In 2006 Michael performed a series of lunchtime recitals at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Swedish soprano Karin Thyselius. With the Goldman Ensemble he has performed at various music clubs and venues including St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. In 2009 he worked with HK Gruber when the conductor was auditioning actors for the Chandos recording of Weill’s Threepenny Opera.
From 2003 to 2009 Michael was also a piano tutor at the London Oratory School. He now lives in Athens. Other engagements in 2010 include recitals on cruises around the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and Norway.