Mihkel Kerem was born in 1981 in Tallinn into a family of musicians. At the age of six he began studying at the Tallinn Music High School with his mother Mirjam Kerem. In 1992 and 1993 he won diplomas both from the Dvarionas competition in Lithuania and the Kocian competition in the Czech Republic. Two years later he won the First Prize at the First National Competition for Young String Players in Estonia.As a soloist Mihkel has appeared with many orchestras including the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, the Estonia Opera Orchestra, the Brandenburg Sinfonia and the Southbank Sinfonia, performing amongst others concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovski, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Saint-Saens, Vieuxtemps, Mozart and Trandafilovski.
As a recitalist he has performed in Estonia, Finland, Austria, Germany Latvia and England. In 2001-2002 he held a post of co-leader in Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and has since also appeared with them as a guest leader. In 2006 he was the leader of Southbank Sinfonia. Mihkel is now the leader of Charities Philharmonia (since 2006) and the leader of Brandenburg Sinfonia (since 2007). He also is a member of Camerata Nordica (Sweden) and London Musical Arts ensemble.
Mihkel began his composition studies at the age of twelve with Estonian composer Mati Kuulberg and continued at the Estonian Academy of Music with Jaan Rääts. In 1997 the Tallinn Music High School sponsored an evening exclusively dedicated to Mihkel’s chamber music. In addition to composing for more conventional combinations of instruments Mihkel enjoys the challenge of writing for more unorthodox ensembles. His compositions to date total nearly 100 works including 3 Symphonies, Concerto for two Cellos and Orchestra, 8 String Quartets and 3 Sonatas for Violin and Piano. Amongst others, his music has been played by The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamberorchestra, Oulu Sinfonia (Finland) and The Chilingirian String Quartet. His music has also been played in Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. Mihkel gained his Masters degree in 2006 from the Royal College of Music studying violin with Levon Chilingirian and composition with William Mival.