Born in Austria, Michael Gieler took up the violin at the age of five and was already a member of a professional string quartet as a teenager. After completing his studies in Vienna, he was awarded a scholarship by the Herbert von Karajan Foundation to study viola at the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
In 1993, Michael Gieler was appointed principal violist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Chamber music continues to play a very important role in his life. He serves as artistic director of two concert series featuring RCO musicians: the IJ-Salon at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and Bijlmer Klassiek at the Bijlmer Parktheater. He also initiated the International Bach Festival in Gran Canaria, held for the first time in 2015.
Thanks to a family foundation, Michael Gieler plays a viola built by Carlo Antonio Testore (Milan, 1745), made available on loan through RCO donors’ foundation Stichting Donateurs.