Born in Vienna, Austria, Michael Ma began violin studies with his father,
Dr. James Ma at the age of 8.When 14, Michael was accepted to the Curtis Institute and the New School of Music in Philadelphia America, to study under Professors Galamian and Brodsky. Upon graduating he began performing with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and founded the New Art String Quartet which toured throughout Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. During this time Michael also served as the concertmaster of the Lancaster Symphony, the York Philharmonic, the New Mexico Symphony and of the internationally acclaimed Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, a position he held for twenty years. Michael Ma was also concertmaster of the North Carolina Symphony before accepting the dual position of Professor of violin at the University of Oklahoma and concertmaster of the Oklahoma Symphony in 1985.Whilst taking a sabbatical from the University, Michael played concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for their 1992-93 season.
Michael Ma currently serves as the original founding member of the New Art String Quartet in Hong Kong, the title he brought with him when he accepted the position as Head of the String Department at the Academy for Performing Arts, and is the founding member of the Hong Kong Virtuosi. He has performed numerous solos internationally with orchestras such as the North Carolina, Oklahoma and New Mexico Symphonies’, the Bangkok Symphony, Thailand, and the Guangzhou Symphony, China and led the highly acclaimed Re-unification Philharmonic Orchestra that performed for Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule.
Since 1997 Michael Ma has been invited to judge the Macau, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong Competitions for young musicians and serve as guest professor at the Beijing Conservatory of Music. In 2002 he sat on the panel for the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow followed by the Sarasate Competition held in Pamplona, Spain, in 2003 and the Monte Carlo Competition in 2004.