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It was easy to imagine the assembled audience members and musicians … rising from their seats and joining a procession heading to greet the divine.

Michael Westwood

With forthcoming tour dates across Canada and in Europe, a third commission and premiere in two years, and an ambitious new project to perform the five “Benny Goodman” concertos over the next three years, Michael Westwood is much more than a clarinetist, he is a highly sought after soloist and chamber musician who has collaborated with a great number of leading Canadian musicians over the past two decades. He frequently appears in solo recitals, chamber music concerts and as soloist with orchestra. His programming ideas combine a passion for the monumental standard repertoire, rarely heard music spanning the past two centuries and new music of the past few years.

 

Michael has, throughout his career, commissioned and performed many new works.

Most recently, he commissioned two new pieces from Canadian composer Frank Horvat. If Not Us, Then Who, for clarinet, cello and piano, was written and premiered in 2014 and has since been performed a second time. In 2015, Michael premiered Frank Horvat’s brilliant new Clarinet Concerto, Couple Dies Holding Hands, in Toronto with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra. A new work for clarinet and piano entitled 30 Minutes of a 3 million minute Journey is planned for 2016. During the 2014–2015 season, Michael also performed Canadian composer Ian McDougal’s great clarinet concerto in Toronto for a very fortunate audience.

Michael’s abilities and programming are far from limited to the repertoire of the present day.

He has developed – in combination with pianist Gregory Millar – a program of music from the era of swing music and big band consisting of newly commissioned and brilliant arrangements for clarinet and piano. The Westwood-Millar Duo has performed the concert several times since its premiere in 2014 to great audience acclaim. Recently, Michael performed with the Westwood-Millar Duo at the Pointe-Clair recital series a concert of all Brahms’ music – both clarinet sonatas and three new arrangements by Christopher Kies of solo piano works for clarinet and piano.

As well as being a highly sought-after clarinetist, Michael founded his own concert series, Westwood Concerts, in 2013.

Now in its third successful season, Westwood Concerts brings in musicians from across Canada to collaborate on innovative and thrilling chamber music concerts. In 2016 Michael will collaborate with violinist Jasper Wood, with whom he has worked several times, on an all-Stravinsky program which promises to be exhilarating. The finale of Westwood Concerts’ second season, featuring Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, was acclaimed in Musical Toronto as “a truly memorable concert …(leaving one) with a feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to understand the composer’s intention.” Michael, they added, “managed to combine the tension between the airborne creatures and the gravity of human limitation with his stately pacing and resonant tone.

A product of the studio of the late great clarinet master Avrahm Galper, Michael Westwood has collaborated with a great number of leading Canadian classical musicians over the past two decades. An extremely passionate chamber musician, Westwood has performed at the Banff, Orford and Domaine Forget summer festivals as a soloist and chamber musician.

In addition to his illustrious music career, Westwood has explored other passions throughout the years including travel and sports. In 2010, he travelled to East Africa where he summited Mount Kilimanjaro.

Follow Michael

Repertoire

Select Solos with Piano

Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

Piano works arranged for clarinet and piano by Gregory Millar

Sonata for clarinet and piano Op  120 no 1 in f- minor

Sonata for clarinet and piano Op 120 no2 in E-flat

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

Sonata for clarinet and piano  (1942)

Riffs for clarinet and jazz band (1949)  (arranged for clarinet and piano)

George Gershwin

George Gershwin

Three Preludes for piano (1926), arranged for clarinet and piano 2014 by Gregory Millar, commissioned and premiered by Michael Westwood

Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy

Premiere Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano (1910)

Darius Milhaud

Darius Milhaud

Duo Concertant Op 351

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann

Fantasiestucke (Fantasy Pieces) for clarinet and piano op 73

Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, George Gershwin

Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, George Gershwin

Songs arranged 2014 for clarinet and piano by Gregory Millar, commissioned and premiered by Michael Westwood

Select Concertos

Max Bruch

Max Bruch

Double Concerto in E-minor, Op 88 for clarinet, viola and orchestra

Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland

Concerto for clarinet and strings and harp (1949)

Benny Goodman Concertos

Benny Goodman Concertos

The five concertos written for Goodman by Copland, Hindemith, Milhaud and Malcolm Arnold

Frank Horvat

Frank Horvat

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra (2015) “Couple Married 72 Years Dies Holding Hands”
Commissioned and premiered by Michael Westwood

Ian McDougall

Ian McDougall

Concerto for clarinet and strings

W.A. Mozart

W.A. Mozart

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra in A-major K 622

Carl Maria von Weber

Carl Maria von Weber

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra no 1 Op 73 in f-minor

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra no 2 Op 74 in E-flat

Concertino for clarinet and orchestra Op 26 in E-flat

Select Chamber Music

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven

Trio in B-flat major Op 11 for clarinet, cello and piano

Bela Bartok

Bela Bartok

Contrasts, for clarinet, violin, piano

Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

Trio in a-minor for clarinet, cello and piano Op 114

Quintet in b-minor for clarinet and strings Op 115

W.A. Mozart

W.A. Mozart

Quintet in A-major for clarinet and strings K 581

Kegelstatt Trio K 498 for clarinet, viola and piano

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen

Quartet for the End of Time, for piano trio plus clarinet

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann

Märchenerzählungen, Op.132 for clarinet, viola, piano

Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky

L’histoire du Soldat trio for clarinet, violin, piano

Carl Maria von Weber

Carl Maria von Weber

Quintet for clarinet and strings Op 34

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