He has recorded over 25 CDs for many labels including Sony BMG (the world premiere recording of Philip Glass's Saxophone Concerto), Decca, Métier, Quartz and ABLAZE. He was also the founder of the independent CD label Quartz and is the Director of a successful film and music production company (First Creative) working mainly in the UK and the Czech Republic. He recently appeared in the three-part BBC FOUR television series Romance and Revolution – Musical Masters of the 19th Century.
Mikel read Music at Oxford University where he conducted a complete performance of Messiaen’s Des Canyons Aux Étoiles at the age of 20. He studied with Peter Eötvös as a member of the International Eötvös Institute Foundation and at the Darmstadt Internationales Ferienkurse where he won the Stipendium Prize for performance. In 1996, he was selected to conduct the Ensemble Modern in a performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Mixtur, in collaboration with the composer.
He has recorded over 80 new works for orchestra and has collaborated with major composers including Iannis Xenakis, James Dillon, Michael Finnissy, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Harrison Birtwistle.
Mikel is also well-known as a writer and broadcaster about classical music. In addition to his well-known conducting blog, his writing has appeared in The Times, the BBC Music Magazine and other publications. His book Written on the Sky – Five Journeys with Great Composers is scheduled for publication in 2017.
From 1997 to 2000, Mikel was Director of British Youth Opera, the UK’s opera training company.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.