Joaquin Valdepeñas a prolific recording artist has recently won a second Juno Award for his recording “Levant” with his Amici Chamber Ensemble and his latest CD with the ARC Ensemble on the Chandos Label was released in June and features the Clarinet Quintet of Paul Ben-Haim. Mr. Valdepeñas was a Grammy Award nominee two years in a row in the chamber music category—both on the on Sony BMG label as part of his collaboration with the ARC Ensemble. He has also won a Juno award for best classical recording (for the Jacques Hetu Concerto). Mr. Valdepeñas was appointed principal clarinetist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra upon graduation from Yale University and makes international appearances as a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor and is considered one of the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. Mr. Valdepeñas has made over three dozen recordings including a recording of the Mozart clarinet concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra.
He has performed with many distinguished artists such as Leif Ove Andsnes, Kathleen Battle, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Barbara Bonney, Joshua Bell, Vladimir Feltsman, Steven Isserlis, Cho Liang Lin, Yo Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, John O’Connor and Pinchas Zuckerman as well as collaborating with some of the world’s finest string quartets such as the American, Calder, Emerson, Muir, Orion, Takacs, St. Lawrence, Ying and Zemlinsky, as well he has collaborated with the Kalichstein, Laredo Robinson Trio at the Y in New York City, The international Sejong Soloists in korea and The Chamber Society of Lincoln Center. Commissioning many works by Canadian composers, Mr. Valdepeñas gave the American première of Arias for Clarinet and Orchestra by Michael Colgrass with the Buffalo Philharmonic. His European début, a performance with the BBC Welsh Symphony, was broadcast on BBC Television conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.
In addition to his duties as principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and a former conductor of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, he has conducted the TSO on many occasions.He has participated in music festivals including the Banff, Casals, Evian France, Mostly Mozart in New York as well as in Nagano Japan, Marlboro, Curitiba Brazil, Sedona and most recently the Great Mountain Music festival in Korea.
Mr. Valdepeñas has been a member of the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and school for over 25 years and is currently on the faculty of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Today many of his former students hold positions in orchestras around the world including The Cleveland Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, The Minnesota Orchestra, The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Osaka Philharmonic. As an exclusive Yamaha artist he was instrumental in the design of the new CSG Yamaha clarinet combining the French and German traditions into one unique voice.