meet the artist
Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Principal Clarinet of Saito Kinen Orchestra
Principal Clarinet of Mito Chamber Orchestra
Ricardo Morales is one of the most sought after clarinetists of today. He joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal clarinet in 2003. Prior to this he was principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position he assumed at the age of 21. His virtuosity and artistry as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician has been hailed and recognized in concert halls around the world. He has been asked to perform as principal clarinet with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, and at the invitation of Sir Simon Rattle, performed as guest principal clarinet with the Berlin Philharmonic. He also performs as principal clarinet with the Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra and the Mito Chamber Orchestra, at the invitation of Maestro Seiji Ozawa.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Morales began his studies at the Escuela Libre de Musica along with his five siblings, who are all distinguished musicians. He continued his studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Indiana University, where he received his Artist Diploma.
Mr. Morales has been a featured soloist with many orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the Flemish Radio Symphony. During his tenure with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, he soloed in Carnegie Hall and on two European tours. He made his solo debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2004 and has since performed as soloist on numerous occasions. Ricardo performed the world premiere of the Clarinet Concerto by Jonathan Leshnoff, commissioned for him by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Morales has performed in the MET Chamber Ensemble series at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Seattle Chamber Music Summer Festival, and the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, on NBC’s The Today Show, and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has performed with many distinguished ensembles, such as the Juilliard Quartet, the Pacifica Quartet, the Miró Quartet, the Leipzig Quartet, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. He has also collaborated with Christoph Eschenbach, André Watts, Emanuel Ax, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, James Ehnes, Gil Shaham, and Kathleen Battle. Mr. Morales is highly sought after for his recitals and master classes, which have taken him throughout North America, Europe and Asia. In addition, he currently serves on the faculty of Temple University.
Mr. Morales’s performances have been met with critical acclaim. The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed his appointment to The Philadelphia Orchestra, stating that “… in fact, may represent the most salutary personnel event of the orchestra’s last decade.” He was praised by the New York Times as having “ … fleet technique, utterly natural musical grace, and the lyricism and breath control of a fine opera singer.” Mr. Morales was also singled out in the New York Times review of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, describing his playing as “exquisite” and declaring that he “deserved a place onstage during curtain calls.”
Mr. Morales’s debut solo recording, French Portraits, is available on the Boston Records label. His recent recordings include performances with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, with the Pacifica Quartet, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award, as well as the Mozart Concerto with the Mito Chamber Orchestra for DECCA. Ricardo is a sought after consultant and designer of musical instruments and accessories, and enjoys a musical partnership with F. Arthur Uebel, a world renowned manufacturer of artist level clarinets.