Michael Norsworthy’s 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…
Michael Norsworthy is one of the most celebrated champions of the modern repertoire. A veritable chameleon, he regularly defies categorization and has captivated critics and audiences around the globe with performances that explore transcendent virtuosity and extremes of musical expression. To date, he has given over 150 world premieres with leading contemporary music groups, including Klangforum Wien, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Manhattan Sinfonietta, 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 among many others.
Recent seasons have included world premieres of works written for him by Michael Finnissy, Hans Tutschku, David Gompper and Pozzi Escot, domestic and international recital tours with pianists Marilyn Nonken, David Gompper and Tyson Deaton, radio appearances on Boston’s WGBH, and multiple performances on the Composer Portraits Series at New York’s Miller Theatre.
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 lots of pianists, violinists, cellists, singers 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.
Michael Norsworthy is a Selmer Paris Artist and Artistic Advisor. As a pedagogue, he is constantly in demand at schools of music around the world and has presented masterclasses and clinics. He has written scholarly works for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and articles for the quarterly journal Thea Clarinet.
Mr. Norsworthy is the recipient of many awards and distinctions, among them: The John Cage Award, Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award and Southern Illinois University’s Chancellor’s Research and Creativity Award, grants from the Yvar Mikahashoff Trust for New Music, St. Louis Artist Presentation Society and St. Botolph Club Foundation and a fellowship from the Aspen Music Festival.