Michael Norsworthy

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Living near: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Clarinet Expertise: Contemporary Music
E-Mail: mnorswor@gis.net

A picture of Michael

Michael Norsworthy's virtuosity, versatility and musicianship have earned him a unique place among rising young stars today. Hailed by the Pittsburgh Tribune as a "dramatic performer.with beautiful tonal nuances" and the Chicago Tribune as having "expertly played.giving the music precision and polish", his performances have taken him to important venues around the USA and Europe including Carnegie Hall, Boston's Jordan Hall, St. Louis' Sheldon Concert Hall, Italy's FestiVal Gardena and the Aspen Music Festival to work with conductors such as Knussen, Ozawa, Robertson, DePriest, Muti and many more.

Highlights for the 2002-03 season include the world premiere of Michael Finnissy's Giant Abstract Samba for clarinet and wind ensemble at Boston's Jordan Hall, a performance of Stravinsky's complete L'histoire du Soldat at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the world premiere of Chris Dench's The Sadness of Detail for solo clarinet, Scelsi's chamber concerto Kya with the Callithumpian Consort, the Boston premiere of Elliott Carter's clarinet duo Hiyuko, the world premiere of Jonathan Saggau's Solipsism, a concerto for clarinet and percussion, with the Soria Chamber Players, recordings for Mode and Albany records, as well as recitals and guest appearances on chamber music series around the country including the Cloud Foundation and the New Gallery Concert Series.

A unique artist, Norsworthy's artistic personality is largely defined by his commitment to the music of today. He has given world and local premieres of over 35 new works in collaboration with composers Elliott Carter, Hans Werner Henze, Marc Anthony Turnage, Ralph Shapey, Chris Dench, Michael Finnissy and many others. His repertoire defies categorization as he can often be seen performing the music of Mozart and Boulez on the same concert. In a recent recital at Michigan State University's Contemporary Clarinet Festival, director Elsa Verdehr said, "Norsworthy performs the most demanding works with a virtuosity and flair that belie their difficulty, racing from the lowest registers to the upper heights of the instrument with agility and accuracy while still producing a warm expressive sound." In addition, he is co-director of the Boston-based new music ensemble Callithumpian Consort and clarinetist with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.

As soloist, Mr. Norsworthy has performed concerti of Mozart, Weber, Debussy, Adams, Shapey, Nielsen, Ferneyhough and others with ensembles like the Pottstown Symphony, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, NEC Contemporary Ensemble, Soria Chamber Players and the Southern Illinois Symphony. Recital credits include St. Louis' Sheldon Concert Hall, Harvard University's Pusey Room Series, Chicago's Hot House New Music Series, the St. Louis Pro Musica, the Composers' Series in Boston and the 2000 International Clarinet Festival in Oklahoma. Artists with whom he has collaborated include the Borromeo String Quartet, Stephen Drury, Patrick Demenga, Sean Osborn, Jan Gippo and his duo pianist Inara Zandmane.

Among his many awards are the Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, the John Cage Award for new music, an Aspen Music Festival fellowship, a recital award from the St. Louis Artist Presentation Society, Southern Illinois University's Chancellor's Research & Creativity Award, a St. Botolph Club Foundation grant, second prize in the Kathryn McPhail Competition in Philadelphia and first prize in the Southern Illinois Symphony Concerto Competition.

His outreach and educational activities with children and seniors focus on the fact that all music is an experience, regardless of its time period. His programs and discussions have brought him praise for his ability to tie together the new and old in an easily understood manner for all ages. Mr. Norsworthy is on the faculty of the Winchester Music School and the Brookline Music School and has authored articles for the Clarinet Magazine and the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

He holds a Master's Degree with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His teachers include Richard Stoltzman, Kalmen Opperman, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and Eric Mandat.

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