An active clarinetist on the contemporary scene today, Wesley Ferreira has been praised by critics for his “beautiful tone” and “technical prowess” (The Clarinet Journal) as well as his “remarkable sensitivity” (CAML Review). Fanfare Magazine notes, Ferreira is “clearly a major talent.”
Born in Canada to parents of Portuguese heritage, he received his musical training at the University of Western Ontario (B.M) and Arizona State University (M.M and D.M.A) studying with Robert Riseling and Robert Spring, respectively. Following four years in the position of single-reeds instructor at Mount Allison University, he joined the music faculty at Colorado State University in 2011 and now maintains a thriving clarinet studio as Associate Professor.
As a recital clarinetist, his performances continually engage audiences, provoking the Artistic Director of one recent concert series performance to remark that Ferreira “showcased a potent synthesis of serious musicianship, technical ferocity, and bravery of programming that was effectively tempered by a dynamic flair for showmanship. With this performance, Ferreira proved not only is he an artist of some consequence, but also a consummate showman capable for presenting even the most challenging works with the ease and fluency of a world-class player”.
Ferreira leads an active and diverse career performing worldwide as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, and as an engaging adjudicator and clinician. Recent performances have taken him to Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, and Spain.
Equally at ease performing the masterworks as well as contemporary pieces, he has been featured soloist with numerous wind bands and orchestras in North America and Europe and has been broadcast nationally on both Canadian and Australian Broadcasting Corporation's. He is clarinetist in several chamber collaborations including the Front Range Chamber Players, and the Los Angeles based clarinet-guitar ensemble duo Jâca.
Ferreira’s discography now totals seven, including the 2013 East Coast Music Award winner - Classical Recording of the Year, for Beyond the Shore and the Ships with soprano Helen Pridmore (Centrediscs label). His debut solo album entitled Madison Avenue (Potenza label) was released in 2014 to critical acclaim and his most recent album entitled Arrival (Centaur Records) was released in 2019 and features works from prominent Portuguese composers.
This advances his doctoral research of curating works for clarinet which include Portuguese folk elements. Indeed, as a means of artistic growth and furthering scholarship, Ferreira demonstrates avid support for new music by frequently commissioning and premiering works, and he continues to champion Portuguese music in North America. In 2015, Ferreira was awarded winner of the 2015 International Portuguese Music Awards in the Instrumental Category.
Ferreira is frequently invited to give performances, workshops, and masterclasses at high schools, colleges and universities throughout North America. In addition, he has been invited to perform at national and international academic conferences including the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFest on numerous occasions.
As co-founder and artistic director of the Lift Clarinet Academy, a summer music festival and training ground which attracts students from around the world, Ferreira has gained a reputation as a skilled and dedicated music educator and pedagogue. Passionate about teaching, he mentors students towards the achievement of their career goals, with emphasis placed on striving for professional and personal growth. His innovative teaching methods are acclaimed, including the development of the breath support training program for musicians, Air Revelation ®.
Recognized for their great versatility and their stability, the 'Privilège' clarinets stand out through their aesthetics, ergonomics and tuning.