Michael Tremberth was born before World War II to Cornish parents in the West Midlands. His early interest in music was owed to parental influence and the Essays in Musical Analysis of Donald Francis Tovey. Early attempts to play piano (taught by the late Edgar Morgan, a former conductor of the BBC Midland Singers), violin and clarinet contributed to the cultivation of the musical garden, aided by choral singing and art song. Study of the natural sciences, particularly of physics, clarified some basic aspects of note production, though not necessarily of the subtleties of tonality. He lived in Cornwall until his death in February 2016.