Although born in England Michael Cox spent his childhood in Africa. He studied first at the Zimbabwe College of Music and then the Royal College of Music in London. Early competition successes led directly to a solo career, which has included concerts and recordings in all continents and performances with major orchestras and conductors. As a chamber musician he has performed with many well known British quartets, quintets and ensembles, with such musicians as James Galway and Murray Perahia, and as a member, at various times, of the Haffner and Albion wind ensembles, the London Symphony Chamber Players and the London Sinfonietta.
An interest in a wider repertoire led to a concurrent orchestral career, first as co-principal with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and then as principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the Britten Sinfonia. He is currently principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and the London Sinfonietta. Over the course of his career, thanks to his particular interest in contemporary music, he has worked with such composers as Messiaen, Takemitsu, Dutilleux, Berio, Boulez, Tippett, Birtwistle, Stockhausen, Henze, Adams, Carter, Penderecki and Lutosławski. He is professor of flute at the Royal Academy of Music in London and is sought after as a visiting consultant and by students worldwide.