Michael Nyman studied piano, harpsichord and music history with Alan Bush at the Royal Academy of Music, and musicology with Thurston Dart at King's College, London. Between 1968 and 1978 he worked as a music critic and in 1977 he founded the Campiello Band, later renamed the Michael Nyman Band. He has also written several operas, ballet music and a large number of chamber and concert pieces.
Since the extraordinary success of Jane Campion's The Piano (1993), Nyman's work as a film composer has been in increasing demand. Since then, he has worked on a variety of high profile feature films, including the near-future science-fiction film Gattaca (1997). The Gattaca score earned Nyman a 1998 nomination for a Golden Globe as Best Score for a Motion Picture. Other work includes Wonderland and The Claim for Michael Winterbottom, and End Of The Affair for Neil Jordan (for which he received yet another Golden Globe nomination for best score).
Michael has also been a long time collaborator with Peter Greenway, on films such as The Draughtsman's Contract (1982), The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) and Prospero's Book (1991).
He has recently completed work on The Actors, a comedy starring Michael Caine and Michael Gambon.