Michiel (Mike) Wilco Irik was born in Sydney, Australia in 1953 of Dutch parents. He studied for his Bachelor of Music (Composition) degree at Sydney University with Peter Sculthorpe and Dr. Eric Gross, and his Diploma of Education at Sydney Teachers College. He was awarded the Sarah Theresa Mackinson Prize For Musical Composition in 1975, and in 1982 he published a music textbook titled “An Approach to Twentieth Century Musical Composition” through the NSW Department of School Education.
He was Higher School Certificate music composition examiner, and represented northern rural NSW at the 1985 Asian Composers’ Conference (in Sydney.) In 1986 he undertook a short course of study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (the Peoples' Republic of China), and upon his return to Australia his "a cappella" composition – The Jade Flute - was awarded first prize in the 1988 Australian Intervarsity Choral Composition Competition.
Irik has been performed in Australia by the Magpie Musicians, Windbags, duo pianists Nigel Butterley and Deborah Priest, the Sydney Mandolins, Australysis, the Sydney Guitar Trio, Gregory van der Struik (Trombone), Brian Evans (Trumpet), Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic and Armidale Symphony Orchestras, as well as by TOPS (The Occasional Performing Sinfonia.) His music has been recorded and broadcasted on ABC Classic FM, 2MBS-FM and 2ARM-FM, and more recently in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom by the Duo Contemporain, the Selmer Saxophone Quartet and the Bass Clarinetist Henri Bok.
His music is published by the Trombonis Australis Project, Kookaburra Music and Wirripang, and recorded on CD on the JADE label (Australia) and STONE RECORDS (UK.)
From 1985 - 1989 Michiel Irik was guest conductor with the Armidale Symphony Orchestra, and from 1992 - 1996 he was vice-president of the Fellowship of Australian Composers.
He currently resides in rural north-west France (Finistère/La Bretagne) where he continues to compose music and is Principal Trombone with L'Orchestre Universitaire de Brest.
More recently, Irik’s name and musical compositions have now been entered into the four volume Australian academic music publication – “A Chronological History of Australian Composers and their Compositions” (Stephen Pleskun.)
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