Robert Woolfrey

Robert Woolfrey's Biography

Robert Woolfrey joined the clarinet section of The Cleveland Orchestra in November 2008. Prior to his appointment, he was the Principal Clarinet of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra (2007-2008) as well as a member of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Woolfrey has collaborated with Michael Tilson Thomas, Dawn Upshaw and musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra. In previous summers, he has participated in a variety of music festivals, including Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. Performances by Woolfrey have been heard on National Public Radio's Performance Today, classical music station WQXR and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio Two. As an educator, he serves as a coach of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, and he is on the faculty of the Kent Blossom Summer Music Festival.

Woolfrey has presented lessons and masterclasses at many schools including Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, University of Michigan, University of Toronto, University of Miami, San Francisco Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Woolfrey studied with Joaquin ValdepeƱas at the University of Toronto and at Yale University with David Shifrin, where he received a master's degree in music. He is also an alumnus of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, where he performed as the soloist for Nielsen's "Clarinet Concerto." He returns frequently to Miami as a coach. Woolfrey is married to Cleveland Orchestra cellist Tanya Ell, and they have two young children.

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