Shostakovich - Symphony No. 9
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6
Conductor - Justin Doyle
Michael Collins’ dazzling virtuosity and sensitive musicianship have made him one of today’s most sought-after soloists. He has performed as a soloist with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Philadelphia, NHK Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, City of Birmingham Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, BBC Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestra. Since his first performance at the BBC Proms, Collins has returned to the festival more often than any other wind soloist, including several appearances at the renowned Last Night of the Proms. As a chamber musician, he has a long standing relationship with Wigmore Hall, having enjoyed many residencies at the prestigious London venue, the next being in 2010/11.
Indisputably one of the leading clarinettists of his generation, Collins has formed close alliances with conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Carlo Maria Giulini, Neeme Järvi, Tadaaki Otaka, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Leonard Slatkin and Mikhail Pletnev. He has special relationships with many of the worlds leading chamber orchestras, including the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia, with whom he has developed a particularly close relationship. Building on his long established role as soloist with these orchestras, in recent years Collins has begun to work with them increasingly as director and conductor, something that has become central to his career. His successes with London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony and Johannesburg Philharmonic are testament to the persuasive musicianship and galvanising leadership that is evident in his conducting.
Collins is a recent recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award, placing him amongst past recipients of the award who include Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Murray Perahia and Andras Schiff. The award was made in recognition of the pivotal role that Collins has played in expanding the clarinet repertoire, commissioning and premiering repertoire by some of today’s most highly regarded composers. He has given world and local premieres of works such as John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons, Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto, Brett Dean’s Ariel’s Music and Turnage’s Riffs and Refrains. Commissioned for him by the Hallé Orchestra, Collins has given further performances of the Turnage with the Residentie Orkest, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Malmo Symphony and London Philharmonic. Last season he gave the world premiere of Elena Kats-Chernin’s clarinet concerto Ornamental Air with the North Carolina Symphony and, subsequently, with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and Tasmanian Symphony.
Michael Collins’ many recordings include John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons with the London Sinfonietta, conducted by the composer, a London Winds’ Ligeti disc for Sony Classical (nominated for a Grammy award in 1999), a disc of Brahms, Schumann and Frühling clarinet trios with Steven Isserlis and Stephen Hough for BMG and a Gramophone Award winning recording of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet concerto, with the London Sinfonietta and Oliver Knussen for Deutsche Grammophon. His most recent release with his quintet London Winds’ is the first recording in a new partnership with the label Onyx, in which they marked the 2006 Mozart anniversary year with a disc of Mozart wind serenades.