Michelle Bruil was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where she took up the violin at the age of seven. She studied viola at the Rotterdam Conservatory, the Conservatoire de Paris and graduated with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London. While at the Academy she won the Max Gilbert Solo Viola prize and the Sir Arthur Bliss Prize and was awarded the Alfred Gibson and Maurice Loban Prizes.
For the last 5 years Michelle was no 4 Viola with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared as guest Principal with the Royal Philharmonic and London Philharmonic Orchestra, as guest co-principal with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and played with the London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony and Royal Opera House Orchestras. In addition to her orchestral work she appears on film and television soundtracks ranging from The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter to Planet Earth. As a chamber musician Michelle has performed at the Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, Cadogan Hall, Conway Hall, the Cité de la Musique and the Kleine zaal of the Concertgebouw
She has appeared on stage and recordings with Paul McCartney, Herbie Hancock, Shirley Bassey, Ray Davies, Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and Winton Marsalis.