Mick Stirling studied the cello at the Guildhall School of Music with Leonard Stehn and Raphael Wallfisch. He continued his studies at the Banff Centre, Canada and with Lawrence Lesser at the New England Conservatory in Boston, USA. Other important mentors were David Takeno, Hans Keller, Louis Krasner, Eugene Lehner, Colin Carr and Bernard Greenhouse.
From 1989 to 1997 Michael was the cellist of the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Germany. He was also a member of the Raphael Ensemble (string sextet, London) for eight years who recorded many CDs for Hyperion. In 1997 he joined the Brindisi Quartet in London where he lived and worked for nine years. During this period he played with many chamber music groups and as guest principal cellist with various orchestras including: The Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra. More recently he has been a guest principal with Rotterdam Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and Frankfurt Opera.
Mick moved to Amsterdam in 2004 and became first principal cellist of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in 2004. He was a regular guest of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for many years. Michael is also a member of Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, The Quimias string Trio and plays a great deal of chamber music in general. He recorded the cello concerto by Hindemith (Kammermusik no. 3) for RCA with Marcus Stenz and the Ensemble Modern which won the German Critic's Prize. Michael was appointed cello professor at the Amsterdam Conservatory in 2014. He will be performing at the 2018 Amsterdam cello Bienalle.