Michael Seaver is a writer, dance critic with The Irish Times and a former Ireland correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and Ballet Tanz magazine. He writes for mainstream media, as well as specialised publications such as Tanz, Irish Theatre Magazine, Dance Theatre Journal, Dance Magazine and Dance Europe. A contributor to books and journals, he has also written for encyclopedias. He served on the editorial board of the journal Choreographic Encounters and is former vice-president of Dance Research Forum Ireland. In 2004 he was the only international critic to receive a New York Times/National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship to attend the Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival. In 2006 he returned to teach at the Institute and was Scholar-in-residence at the Bates Dance Festival in Maine.
As principal clarinettist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, he has performed with Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Kiri Te Kanawa, as well as artists like Burt Bacharach, Michel Legrand, Ute Lemper and Marvin Hamlisch. A co-founder of the Crash Ensemble and a member of the Haenjo Trio, he has performed concertos – from Mozart to Artie Shaw – and has given solo recitals throughout Ireland, specialising in contemporary music. He has performed Irish premieres of works by composers such as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Tom Johnson, and Gavin Bryars, as well as many premieres by Irish composers. He holds an MA in Music and is one of a handful of musicians who have tackled Stockhausen’s Harlequin for dancing clarinettist, performing the work in Ireland, Miami, Salzburg and Mexico. As a composer he wrote over twenty scores for dance companies in Ireland and Mexico between 1988 and 1996, after which he concentrated on writing about dance. He has also composed for theatre, including the Abbey Theatre. More recently he featured as a clarinet tutor on the RTÉ reality television show, Instrumental, and TG4’s Glaoch an Cheoil.