Clarinetist Simon Cole has been Principal Clarinet with the PGSO since the late 80s. During that time he has also won international auditions and played principal clarinet with the Rishon Orchestra Israel (where he was offered tenure) and the Banff Opera Orchestra amongst others. He has performed chamber music and solo recitals with many of the world\'s finest musicians, including Jasper Wood, Shauna Rolston, Arnold Draper, Walter Kussner, George Zukerman. Simon studied with Emilio Iacurto at McGill, an Italian clarinetist of the Bel canto school of playing and with Michael Dumouchel and Bob Crowley also of the MSO. He has played in the master classes of many great clarinet legends including; Frank Cohen, Michele Zukovsky, Stanley Hasty,Robert Marcellus and Allen Hacker.
His first clarinet teacher was Joan Riley, his high school band teacher.He started playing professionally while still in high school as the principal clarinet in several opera orchestras. His first instrument was the recorder which he started in grade 2, by grade 3 was teaching it to other classes. His CD The Art of Melody was the first classical CD to ever come out of Prince George. He has appeared as soloist outside Prince George at chamber music festivals and for concert associations and has performed most of the major concertos for clarinet.
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