Mike Escreet first came to music through singing in choirs, both at church and at school, and sometime after his voice broke realised he was missing all the music making he had done, so when the headmaster advertised for someone to learn the double bass he volunteered. He quickly became hooked on playing in the orchestra, and soon was in the fortunate position of being able to supplement his pocket money by gigging in amateur orchestras around London; they were always desperate for bass players. After three foreign tours with youth orchestras he decided to abandon ideas of becoming a physicist and went to York university to read music instead.
After graduating he got a job in the BBC Training orchestra in Bristol, and a year and a half later went to the BBC Northern as sub-principal bass. At the same time he played with many chamber and baroque ensembles, as well as playing as guest principal with the Manchester Camerata, the Northern Chamber Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the RLPO. In the 1990s he became principal of the BBC Philharmonic, which he left in 2007 in order to do more baroque and chamber playing.