English born conductor, pianist and harpsichordist Michael Goodwin received his musical education at Leeds University, the Guildhall School of Music, London, the London Opera Centre and Chico State University, California, where he made a special study of Baroque performance practice. However, his conducting career has been primarily focused on music of the Classical and Romantic periods. After winning the first national competition of the Australian Broadcasting Commission to find a young “Conductor-In-Training”, Michael Goodwin conducted the professional orchestras of Australia, as well as the University of New South Wales Choral Society and many operettas, including a Gilbert and Sullivan Festival at the Adelaide Festival Theater. He also worked extensively with orchestras at the Australian Youth Orchestra summer camps. Subsequently, Michael Goodwin worked as Chorus Master and Conductor with professional opera companies: the Teheran Opera, Iran, and the Stadttheater Trier and Theater der Stadt Hagen in Germany.
Michael Goodwin moved to California in 1981 to build Apollo Orchestra and Chorus, a private organization in the Sierra Foothills. Since 1984 he has also been Music Director of Apollo Opera, in collaboration with Artistic Director Zoila Munoz, whom he has frequently accompanied in recital. He has directed several full productions with orchestra for Apollo Opera, including Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly, Dido and Aeneas, and Gounod’s Faust. He also conducted Puccini’s La Bohème for Nevada Opera in Reno, where he was praised for “making “the opera sing from beginning to end.”
In 1995 Michael Goodwin became Music Director of the Auburn Symphony, California, a community orchestra, which he has brought to a professional level of performance. Reviewers have described him as “a musician of strength and sensibility,” and praised his “felt-to-the-bone interpretations”. Under Maestro Goodwin’s direction the orchestra has performed annually at the Mondavi Center since 2004 to large audiences. Standout performances have included Tchaikovsky’s 4th and 5th Symphonies, Mahler’s 1st Symphony, a spectacular Beethoven 9th, Holst’s The Planets Suite and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade. On March 13th 2011 he returns to Mondavi with the Auburn Symphony for a concert featuring Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony, and Liszt’s 2nd Piano Concerto with Richard Cionco as soloist. Maestro Goodwin has recently formed the Auburn Symphony Chamber Players from members of the Auburn Symphony, in order to perform more intimate repertoire in Auburn’s renovated State Theater. In October he will direct a program of Mozart and other Classical composers, and in May 2011, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, with concertmaster Kay Kyung Ha Lee as soloist.