Michael Rusinek is currently the principal clarinetist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He teaches clarinet and chamber music at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and teaches clarinet at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Beginning in the summer of 2016, he joins the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Born in Toronto, Canada, he studied first with Avrahm Galper at the Royal Conservatory of Music and then with Donald Montanaro at the Curtis Institute of Music. Upon completion of his studies, he was Assistant Principal Clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In addition to his position with the Pittsburgh Symphony, he has played as principal clarinet with the Philadelphia, St. Louis, Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada.
Rusinek has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and in recital across Canada, on CBC Radio and throughout the United States and Israel, including the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Concerto Classic Wien, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony and the Curtis Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra. He has been heard many times as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and in May 2008 premiered a new concerto by composer Alan Fletcher, commissioned for him by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Rusinek received the Grand Prize at the International Clarinet Society Competition and was a prizewinner at the Belgrade International Clarinet Competition. He has participated in numerous music festivals, including the Salt Bay and Portland Chamber Music Festivals and the Music In the Vineyards Festival in the Napa Valley. He regularly returns to the Grand Teton, Santa Fe Chamber and Marlboro Music Festivals.
He has toured with the renowned Marlboro Musicians and has performed as principal clarinet in the Super World Orchestra, an ensemble of orchestral musicians from around the world. Dedicated to teaching, he has given master classes at some of the world's leading institutions, including the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, the Colburn Music School, the Manhattan School of Music and the New World Symphony. He was on the faculty of the International Summer Music Academy in Guangzhou, China, for its inaugural season, and returns frequently to perform and teach in Tianjin and Beijing. He also returns frequently to conduct master classes and give recitals in Mexico City. He was a member of the jury of the first Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition in Rouen, France.