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Joaquin Valdepenas

Joaquin Valdepenas
Joaquin Valdepenas photo
  • Faculty, The Taylor Academy
  • Faculty, The Glenn Gould School



Winner of the 2004 Juno Award for best classical record (Jacques Hétu Concertos), Joaquin Valdepeñas is considered one of the most prominent classical musicians in Canada. He has conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) more than a dozen times, as well as the New Creations Festival at Roy Thompson Hall, and was one of the conductors at the Aspen Music Festival.

Considered one of the most distinguished clarinetists in the world, Joaquin is principal clarinetist of the TSO and makes international appearances as soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. He has performed at festivals throughout the world including those of Aspen, Banff, Curitiba (Brazil), Casals, Edinburgh, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Nagano (Japan), and Vancouver.

Joaquin has performed with musicians Barbara Bonney, Kathleen Battle, Joshua Bell, Cho Liang Lin, Vladimir Feltsman, Glenn Gould, Steven Isserlis, Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Pinchas Zukerman. He has collaborated with the American, Emerson, Muir, St. Lawrence, Orford, and Ying string quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the International Sejong Soloists. Commissioning many works by Canadian composers, Joaquin gave the American premiere of Arias for clarinet and orchestra by Michael Colgrass with the Buffalo Philharmonic.

As a conductor, soloist, and clarinet coach and teacher, he has taken part in the Aspen Music Festival and School for over 10 years. The Aspen Music Festival and School is an internationally renowned classical music festival that presents the world's finest music in an intimate, small-town setting. This performance is part of the nine-week summer Festival that comprises more than 200 events, including orchestral concerts, chamber music, opera, contemporary music, master classes, lectures, and children's programs.

Joaquin made his European debut with the BBC-Welsh Symphony on BBC television, with Sir Andrew Davis conducting, and has recorded the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the English Orchestra (Summit DCD131). He has also recorded extensively for CBC, Centrediscs, Naxos, Sony, and Summit and was featured in a PBS documentary about the Aspen Music Festival, as clarinetist and conductor. He is a faculty member of The Glenn Gould School, and many of his past students hold positions in orchestras around the world. As an exclusive Yamaha artist, he was instrumental in the design of the new CSG Yamaha clarinet combining the French and German traditions into a unique voice.

Joaquin’s chamber group the Amici Ensemble released the CD Majestic Flair, featuring music by composer Chan Ka Nin (on the CBC label), and a disc of D'Indy and Bruch on the Naxos label. The entire set of Luciano Berio's Sequenzas has also been released on the Naxos label.

Joaquin is the Resident Conductor of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra.

You can email Professor Valdepeñas at [email protected]