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Michael Askill

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  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Australia-born Michael Askill is a master percussionist. In addition to being a founding member of influential, new age, ensemble, Synergy, and ethno-classical group, Southern Crossings, Askill has worked with numerous orchestras and small ensembles. Askill has held principal positions with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the A.E.T.T. Sydney Orchestra and has been a featured soloist with the Sydney, Queeensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. Askill has worked with a lengthy list of contemporary groups includes ACME, Flederman, The Magic Puddin' Band, The Seymour Group, Studio III, Les Percussions De Strousbourg and John Williams' Attica.

After studying percussion in his home city with the late Richard Smith, Askill traveled to New York to study under Jean Batigne as the recipient of an international fellowship from the Australian council. In 1992, Askill served as the musical adviser to Graeme Murphy's production, Synergy With Synergy, performed by the Sydney Dance Company. Askill and Murphy renewed their collaboration when Askill served as musical director and composer for Murphy's production, Free Radicals, in 1997.

Askill has been featured on several albums. Australian Percussion, released in 1991, featured his interpretations of original works and pieces by other Australian composers. Askill recorded his 1995 album, Fata Mogana, with Omar Faruk Tekbilek, a Turkish flute, reeds, lutes and percussion player he met at an Australian broadcasting studio. Askill produced an album, Tango, for the Daniel Binelli Septet in 1996 and an album of Heinrich Schutz motet settings, Der Schwanengesang, recorded at the Sydney Opera House with the Song Company. Askill served as musical director of the Sydney Dance Company's 1998 production, Salome. The solo Rhythm in the Abstract followed in 2000.