Michael Collins is also in demand as a chamber musician, regularly performing in recital with Leon McCawley and in chamber ensembles with artists such as the Belcea Quartet, Martha Argerich, Mikhail Pletnev, Lars Vogt and Joshua Bell.
Michael Collins' dazzling virtuosity and sensitive musicianship have made him one of today's most sought-after soloists. He performs as a soloist with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Philadelphia, NHK Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, BBC Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestra.
A recent recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award, this award places Collins amongst past recipients such as Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Murray Perahia and Andras Schiff. The award was made in recognition of the pivotal role that Collins has played in expanding the clarinet repertoire, Michael Collins commissions and premieres repertoire by prominent composers, including John Adams, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Elena Kats-Chernin, Thea Musgrave and Mark Anthony Turnage. Engagements in his current diary include New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Orchestra della Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Bournemouth Symphony, Tampere Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia.
Collins has special relationships with many of the worlds leading chamber orchestras, including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and the City of London Sinfonia, with whom he has developed a particularly close relationship. Building on his long established role as soloist with these orchestras, in recent years Collins has begun to work with them increasingly as director and conductor, something that has become central to his career. His successes in this role are testament to the persuasive musicianship and galvanising leadership that is evident in his conducting.