Michael Norsworthy virtuosity and unique voice on the clarinet have made him a sought after soloist and chamber music collaborator and garnered praise from critics and audiences around the globe. His performances have taken him to distinguished concert venues including Vienna’s Musikverein, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Philharmonie Hall, New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall and Miller Theatre, Boston’s Jordan and Symphony Halls, St. Louis’ Sheldon Concert Hall, Festival Casals de Puerto Rico and the Aspen Music Festival.
Mr. Norsworthy is one of the most celebrated champions of the modern repertoire. To date, he has given over 125 world premieres with leading contemporary music groups, including Klangforum Wien, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Manhattan Sinfonietta, Fromm Players at Harvard, Boston Musica Viva, Callithumpian Consort in Boston, Ensemble 21 in New York and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. He has collaborated with a veritable who’s who of composers from around the globe including Pierre Boulez, Harrison Birtwistle, Elliott Carter, Chris Dench, Brian Ferneyhough, Michael Finnissy, Lukas Foss, Hans Werner Henze, Helmut Lachenmann and Magnus Lindberg among many others.
As soloist he has performed an extensive repertoire of concerti, ranging from Mozart to Ferneyhough, with the Manhattan Sinfonietta, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, Callithumpian Consort, Pottstown Symphony, Southern Illinois Symphony and Symphony Pro Musica. As a recitalist, he regularly performs with pianists Yoko Hagino, Michael Finnissy and David Gompper. Mr. Norsworthy has enjoyed chamber music collaborations with pianists Judith Gordon, Stephen Drury, Mihae Lee and Aleck Karis, violinists Harumi Rhodes, Jonathan Crow and Norbert Brainin, violists Roger Tapping and Carol Rodland, cellists Rhonda Rider and Patrick Demenga, singers Tony Arnold and Timothy Jones, saxophonist John Zorn, the Borromeo String Quartet, and players from major orchestras in Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna.
As an orchestral musician he has performed with leading groups including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Boston Philharmonic and Boston Ballet and is currently principal clarinet with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. As a member of the Star Wars Symphony Orchestra, he has performed for combined audiences of over 730,000 people in the USA, Canada and Mexico with the touring production “Star Wars In Concert”.
Norsworthy is interested in breaking down barriers that exist between classical music and popular and jazz as well as collaborating with artists working in other mediums. He has shared the stage with such popular and jazz icons as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Savion Glover and Bela Fleck. He worked in the motion picture industry and toured with numerous musical theater productions as a woodwind doubler on saxophone and been presented by the New Gallery Concert Series, Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston and the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston alongside works by major visual artists.
Currently, Norsworthy is Professor of Clarinet and Bass Clarinet, Chair of the Woodwind Department and Director of Contemporary Music Performance at The Boston Conservatory. He is constantly in demand at schools of music around the world and has presented masterclasses and clinics at prestigious schools all over the USA, Canada, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. He has served as artist in residence at Harvard University with the Harvard Group for New Music and was on the artist faculty at Columbia University. He is an active board member for American Century Music and Massachusetts State Chairman for the International Clarinet Association.
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