Michael Rusinek

Michael Rusinek is currently the principal clarinetist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, teaches clarinet and chamber music at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and teaches clarinet at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Starting in summer 2016, he joins the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Born in Toronto, Canada, his early studies were with Avrahm Galper at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He later attended the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Donald Montanaro. Upon graduation, he served as assistant principal clarinet with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In addition to his position in the Pittsburgh Symphony, he has performed as principal clarinet with the orchestras of Philadelphia, St. Louis, The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and National Arts Center in Ottawa, Canada.

Rusinek has performed as a soloist with many orchestras and as a recitalist across Canada, on CBC Radio and throughout the United States and Israel, including appearances with the Czech Philharmonic, Concerto Classic Wien, Toronto Symphony, Belgrade Philharmonic, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music. He has been heard as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony many times and, in May 2008, he premiered a new concerto by composer Alan Fletcher, a concerto commissioned for him by the Pittsburgh Symphony. That performance was recorded and is available on the Exton label.

Rusinek was awarded the grand prize in the International Clarinet Society competition, and was a prize winner in the Belgrade International clarinet competition. He has participated in numerous music festivals, including the Salt Bay and Portland Chamber Music Festivals, and Music In the Vineyards in Napa Valley. He returns regularly to the Grand Teton, Santa Fe Chamber and Marlboro music festivals. He has toured with the acclaimed “Musicians from Marlboro,” and was featured on the Sony label celebrating Marlboro’s 50th anniversary. In summer 2000, he performed as principal clarinet in the Super World Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of musicians from orchestras around the world. Dedicated to teaching, he has led master classes at some of the leading institutions around the world, including the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, the Colburn Music School, the Manhattan School of Music and the New World Symphony. He served on the faculty of the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Canton, China for its inaugural season, and returns often to play and teach in Tianjin and Beijing. He also returns frequently to conduct master classes and perform recitals in Mexico City. He served on the jury for the inaugural Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition in Rouen, France.

Rusinek is proud of his association with Selmer Clarinets and Rico Reeds. When he is not performing or teaching, you may often find him riding his bike, on the golf course or playing hockey in a non-contact league.