Mike Fentross conducted in many festivals and concerthalls like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. the Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival d’Ambronay, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Paradiso Amsterdam, Monteverdi Festival Cremona, Festival de Musica Portico de Zamora, Festival Musica Antiqua Brugge, Vantaa Early Music Festival, Bayreuth Barock and Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in Utrecht. For two times he had the honour to conduct in the presence of Queen Beatrix of Holland.
In 1988 Mike Fentross graduated at the Royal Conservatory The Hague where he studied with lute pionier Toyohiko Satoh. In 1994 he won the Van Wassenaer Competition in Amsterdam with violinist Helene Schmitt. He played chamber music with musicians as Yo Yo Ma, Ton Koopman, Janine Jansen, Marion Verbruggen, Sonia Prina, Maria Bajo, Wilbert Hazelzet, Bruce Dickey, Lucy van Dael, Andrew Lawrence King, Philippe Jarousski, Eduardo Lopez Banzo, Skip Sempe and Gerard Lesne. Mike has recorded more than 75 cd’s.
He studied conducting with Stefan Pas. As conductor he debuted in 1999 with La Dafne from Marco da Gagliano in a production of the New Opera Academie in Amsterdam. In 2006 he conducted in the presence of Queen Beatrix the modern world premiere from the opera l’Ipermestra from Cavalli in a prestigeous jubilee production from the Utrecht Early Music Festival and in 2008 he conducted a second unearthed Cavalli opera La Rosinda in a production from the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci Potsdam. In 2009 he conducted for the first time in the big hall from the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and in the same year he was musical director in the production Granida performed in the presence of Queen Beatrix. About his debut as conductor from the Dutch Chamber Choir in 2010 in the Concertgebouw the press wrote: Conductor Mike Fentross rivalled Caravaggio with the score of the Maria Vespers. His first time conducting the Nederlands Kamerkoor was a resounding success.
Mike doesn’t only conduct Early Music, in 2004 he conducted Pierrot Lunaire from Arnold Schoenberg. The press wrote: There was great enthusiasm for Mike Fentross as conductor of a double bill consisting of Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Mike Fentross gave a performance of Pierrot lunaire that ‘appeared to come from another planet’.
In 2012 Mike made his Austrian debut in the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt with great success in a program with coloratura soprano Simone Kermes and in the same year he conducted the pre jubilee concert for the Concertgebouw in a program with solo violinist Lucy van Dael and singers Henk Neven and Andreas Scholl. In 2013 he conducted the Fairy Queen with his orchestra and the Netherlands Chamberchoir.
Since 2013 he is regularly conducting the baroque orchestra and choir of the Royal Conservatory. In 2014 he was invited by Paradiso Orchestra to conduct Beethovens Eroica. In 2016 he conducted the Netherlands Chamber Choir in a Bach, Faure program live broadcast on national radio. In 2018 he conducted a big jubilee concert with music from 1518, the birthyear of the big St. Laurens Church in Alkmaar. In 2019/20 he concucted and recorded a new program with his orchestra La Sfera Armoniosa with concerti grossi from Willem de Fesch. Release will take place in the autumn of 2020.
Recently two new cd’s of his orchestra La Sfera Armoniosa were released on Challenge International:
Henry Purcell, ‘Symphony while the swans come forward’,
…Interesting to notice that Fentross may have learned a lot from Ton Koopman, but in the meanwhile he searched for his own sound and found it. Noticable about his sound is the ‘souplesse”, the transparency and the space in the dynamics. In particular the stringorchestra is fascinating us with breathtaking pianissimi
Opusklassiek September 2018
La Sfera seems to have resurected Purcell in truest form
NRC May 2018
The orchestra under Mike Fentross makes a feast of the ouvertures and the interludes
De Gelderlander August 2018
A new sound…all the credits here are for Fentross and his wonderful ensemble
And Francesco Cavalli, ‘l’Ipermestra’
Fentross’s performance is superb…Fentross’s conducting is swift and urgent, allowing the big confrontations to register with great immediacy.
Gramophone August 2019
Fentross makes his musicians play with the finests nuances and tempo changes which makes the opera fascinating all the way through the three cd’s
De Gelderlander July 2019
Glyndebourne had a shot in 2017. This recording makes a stronger case…thanks to Fentross editing and vivid direction of singers…
Sunday Times August 2019
Mike Fentross l’anime avec feu, dirigeant un savoureux ensemble d’instruments anciens
Artalinna August 2019