At the age of 20 Mikheil earned a Bachelor degree in Ballet Dancing at Chabukiani Choreography College in Tbilisi. He continued his ballet education at the Shota Rustaveli State Theatre and Film University under Prof. G.Aleksidze, graduating with a Master’s degree in Choreography in 2004.
While working as a professional dancer and choreographer in 1997-2006, Mikheil takes a great interest in classical music. After some private tuition he takes a course in Choral Conducting at Saradjishvili State Conservatory in Tbilisi.
But to pursue his dream – to become a symphony orchestra conductor – Mikheil moves to Kyiv to study at Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. In 2011 he graduates from the Academy with a Master’s degree in Opera and Symphony Conducting (under Prof. R.Kofman, Principal Conductor at Beethoven Orchestra, Bonn, 2003-2008). In 2018-2020 he completed his education of Orchestral Conducting – postgraduate at the MDW University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
Right after completing his education, Mikheil Menabde becomes an Assistant Conductor at the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine.
Soon, in close cooperation with Music Agensy «Ukho», he runs a set of projects, dedicated to popularization of music written by contemporary Ukrainian composers – V.Silvestrov, A.Retinsky, M.Shalygin, A.Zagaikevich, V.Poleva.
In 2014 Mikheil invites some of the best musicians in Kyiv to form Armonia Ludus – chamber orchestra with a strong focus on 20th – 21st century music repertoire. This project continues to bring a wide variety of contemporary music genres and styles to Ukrainian audiences. Some of the works, interpreted by Armonia Ludus are: György Ligeti – Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Arvo Pärt – Tabula Rasa, Giacinto Scelsi – Anahit, Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians.
Mikheil also actively takes part in many music festivals in Ukraine, such as “Kyiv contemporary music days”, “Kyiv Musik Fest”, “Kyiv Spring”, “Two Days and Two Nights” (Odessa).
In 2017, in the context of International festival “Gaudeamus”, Mikheil participated in Maxim Shalygin’s project “ Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs” in Amsterdam/Den Haag/Utrecht as an Assistant conductor.
He currently holds the position of Permanent Guest Conductor of both Chamber and Symphony orchestras of the Ukraine Philharmonic and of National Symphony orchestra in Georgia.
Since his successful debut with the Ukraine Philharmonic in 2011, conducting Giya Kancheli’s Symphony N°6, Mikheil constantly expands his concert repertoire:
- Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47
- Sergei Rachmaninov – Pianoconcerto no.2 op.18
- Maurice Ravel – Daphnis et Chloé, suite No. 2 for orchestra
- Giya Kancheli – Liturgy for Viola and Symphony Orchestra “Mourned by the Wind”
- Igor Stravinsky – Violin concerto in D major
- Jean Sibelius – Violin Concerto in D minor, Op.47
- Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
- Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet (Complete Ballet Music)
- G. Bizet – R. Shchedrin, Carmen Suite
- Sergei Prokofiev – Visions Fugutives, Op. 22, orchestrated by Rudolf Barshai
One of the last concerts took place in Georgia, Tbilisi in March 2018. Mikheil conducted Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto in D major with famous young Viennese Tjeknavorian as a soloist.