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Mick Doran

Professorial Staff - Percussion


Area of Work

Wind, Brass & Percussion Department
Mick Doran


Michael Doran has to pinch himself to think that he is still doing what he loves so long after getting the drumming ‘bug’ as a boy, playing along to his Dad’s dance band records with shoe brushes on brown paper, dreaming of being the drummer! Luckily, one thing led to another until attending the Royal Academy of Music, studying Percussion and Timpani under Professors James Blades and Nicholas Cole. Within a year of leaving he had been appointed Principal Percussion with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet (now the Royal Ballet Sinfonia). Three years later he joined English National Opera as Co Principal, moving up to Principal Percussionist in 1996. He revels in ENO’s broad range of repertoire and challenging production style, finding particular satisfaction in working closely with composers such as Mark-Anthony Turnage, David Sawer, Torsten Rasch and Jonathan Dove. In addition to his playing he has gained a reputation for his organizational skills, especially in connection to the huge percussion requirements in operas such as Die Soldaten (Zimmerman), Punch and Judy (Birtwhistle), Grande Macabre (Ligeti) and A Dog’s Heart (Raskatov). He has been percussion consultant to Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires and Adelaide Festival.Mick lives in Surrey, with his gorgeous wife and two beautiful kids. Hobbies include Manchester Utd, golf and scuba, but his dream day off? Getting that long awaited century for the village cricket team followed by a fine meal and vintage wine with family and friends, whilst listening to great live music.

Creative Outputs

ENO Baylis, the company’s outreach department, has afforded him the happy opportunity to be involved in many projects with people from all sections of the community. He has been commissioned to create events for them such as Jazz Rigoletto with Westminster Council, performed at the Steiner Theatre,The Carmen Storyfor schools in Hackney and Tower Hamlets and The Soldiers Day in Hackney. He has also done education work for the Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras and the Royal Ballet.

Away from ENO Mick enjoys a busy freelance career with the United Kingdom’s premier orchestras and ensembles including the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and BBC Concert Orchestras and the London Sinfonietta, performing under such world renowned conductors as Abbado, Muti, Gergiev, Previn, Haitink, Maazel, Temirkanov, Mackerras, Tilson-Thomas, Dutoit, Colin Davis, Rostropovich, Elder and many more.

His many film soundtrack recordings include Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass, Nanny McPhee 2, Gangs of New York, Tomorrow Never Dies, Enemy at the Gates, Miss Potter, The English Patient and The Mask of Zorro. Mick has also deputized on West End shows such as My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.

Another important part of Mick’s professional life is in education. He is Professor of Percussion at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, percussion coach to the Ulster Youth Orchestra and gives private coaching and consultation lessons. He is frequently invited to adjudicate at music conservatoires. In 2011 he was co-founder of Rhythms Inc, a partnership with a growing reputation for using music to provide experiences that are engaging, inspirational and fun and that build new capabilities, develop team-working skills and promote creativity for a wide range of audiences from children to corporates.

An engaging communicator, Mick has appeared on various national radio shows. He was featured on Gershwin’s Horns with Rainer Hersch, A History of the World in 100 Objects on BBC Radio 4 and was the ‘Spoon Man on Radio 2’s Chris Evans Show. He is also comfortable as a presenter and happily performs humorous solo pieces on quirkier instruments such as musical saw, car horns, kazoo, washboard and even anvil!

Passionate about jazz, he was a founder member of The Lawless Four jazz quartet playing at private events and at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, The Barbican and The Savage Club.

Also in demand as a music administrator, for many years he has acted on behalf of Musical Associates Concerts Ltd and A.W.Events, booking musicians and acting as Orchestra Manager for their stately home and stadium concerts across the country. He was also Orchestra Manager for Camerata Ireland’s triumphant 2000 tour to Brazil, Argentina and Montevideo with music director Barry Douglas.

He is delighted to be a Zildjian Artist and is honored to be an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.