Michael has recently been notified of of receiving the Zavod Jazz Classical Fusion Composer’s Award administered by Melbourne University. Michael also received first prize in the Zavod Jazz Classical Fusion Performer’s Award in September 2010 and is the only musician to have received both awards. The performer’s award was administered by Monash University and funded by Dame Murdoch.
The awards were given based on work that Michael had prepared and submitted for his professional doctorate at the Queensland Conservatorium. The composer’s prize was for his composition The New Earth – Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra and the performer’s prize was for Michael’s recording of Esfahan a work for an ensemble of traditional Persian, Jazz, and Classical musicians and pre-recorded sounds with Michael on guitars. Michael and his ensemble flew to Melbourne to perform Esfahan at Blackwood Hall.