Robert West, Principal Clarinet
Robert O. West joined the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in 1989. As principal clarinet, he has been a featured soloist on the classical and chamber series in addition to the 1992 inaugural concert of the HSO Pops with guest conductor Newton Wayland. Robert has also served on the office staff as stage manager and music librarian.
Mr. West now lives in Tennessee where he is the principal clarinetist with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. The Chattanooga Times wrote of his 2002 performance of the Mozart Concerto, “An assured and polished performer, West caressed and cajoled his instrument to provide both excitement and passion-just pure musical inspiration.” As a member of the CSO woodwind quintet, performances include educational school assemblies, master classes, hospital arts in healing programs and community outreach.
Robert began studying clarinet at the age of ten and was soon traveling central Illinois performing with local dance bands. As a young soloist, he appeared with the Central Illinois Youth Symphony, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, DePauw University Symphony and the Chatauqua Festival Orchestra. At the age of eighteen, he took first prize at the International Clarinet Society competition in Denver, Colorado.
In 1981 Robert completed his Bachelor of Music at the New England Conservatory, studying with Peter Hadcock of the Boston Symphony and graduating a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Society. He received his Master of Music in clarinet performance at Mannes School of Music in New York as a student of recording artist Gervase DePeyer. Robert has participated in the International Music Festival at Round Top Texas, Chautauqua Festival and Opera Orchestra, Bedford Springs Festival Orchestra in Pennsylvania and the Interlochen National Music Camp. Mr. West was principal clarinetist, featured soloist and on the Music Academy faculty of the Filarmonica del Bajio in Guanajuato, Mexico. He has also performed with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Cedar Rapids Symphony in Iowa, the American Repertory Theater Opera Orchestra in Boston, Quintessence Woodwind Quintet from Phoenix Arizona and the Relache Chamber Ensemble of New York which debuted in Carnegie Recital Hall.
Local appearances include the HSO PremiereWinds, Huntsville Chamber Music Guild recital series performing with the Blair String Quartet from Vanderbilt University, faculty soloist with the University of Alabama Wind Ensemble, Jacksonville State University Wind Ensemble guest artist and featured soloist at the 1998 Alabama Music Educators Conference at Auburn.
In addition to his private teaching studio, Mr. West has been a facutly member at Oakwood College, University of Alabama in Huntsville and Alabama A & M University.