Horn Player, Teacher & Examiner


Michael Purton was born in London. He was a boy chorister and took lessons in piano and violin, eventually studying french horn with the legendary Ifor James. In 1967, Mike was invited to join the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, becoming principal horn in 1970. 

After successfully completing a degree in Music at Surrey University in July 1973, and at the age of 21, Mike was appointed Principal Horn to the prestigious Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which position he held until 1986. During his time in Manchester, Mike appeared as soloist with the orchestra on many occasions, as a chamber musician and as a guest principal with other orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Philharmonia and Welsh National Opera. He was also Senior Horn Professor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (1978-1991), where he directed the RNCM Horn Ensemble and was subsequently Head of Wind and Percussion at Trinity College of Music in London. He has also been External Examiner in Brass at the RNCM. Three of Mike's former students: Beccy Goldberg, Julian Plummer and Lindsey Stoker are currently Horn Professors at the RNCM.

At the RNCM Mike chaired all Horn auditions and examinations between 1978 and 1991 and as Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at Trinity College of Music between 1991 and 1997 he also chaired all Faculty auditions and examinations.

After successfully completing an MMus degree course at Surrey University in 1986/7, Mike has  concentrated on educational work and sound recording. Then in 2007, Mike was appointed Principal of the highly prestigious Bromley Youth Music Trust in London in January 2007, retiring at the end of 2013 and was conductor of the outstanding and award winning Bromley Youth Concert Band, commissioning new works for band from composers Philip Sparke and Adam Gorb and on several occasions winning the top award for wind bands at the Festival of Music for Youth.