Charles West is an orchestral and chamber clarinetist and soloist, performing solo recitals or concertos throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. He appears regularly on the programs of international gatherings of clarinetists in America and in Europe, and has been called “one of the most recorded clarinetists in American Academia.” His recorded repertoire ranges from the most standard of sonatas to the most avant-garde, on labels including Klavier, Wilson Audiophile, Centaur, CRI, Crystal, and he is heard on a 1993 Grammy Award winning Telarc CD.
West holds the Doctorate and three other university degrees, has been a Fulbright Scholar, and he has served as Treasurer of the International Clarinet Society. Instrumental in merging the present-day International Clarinet Association from two previously separate entities, he was elected to the first Presidency of that organization. His career has included ten years as Principal Clarinet of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, twelve as Principal Clarinet of the Flagstaff Festival Orchestra and one as Principal in the Peruvian National Symphony Orchestra.
He has held teaching positions in three North American universities, and guest professorships in South America, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People’s Republic of China. He has been Conductor of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra and Director of Orchestral Activities at VCU, and is presently Professor of Music and Coordinator of Winds & Percussion at VCU. He is artist-clinician for the Buffet-Crampon Corporation, Conductor of the Youth Orchestra of Charlottesville-Albemarle, a first-call woodwind doubler in Richmond, Virginia, and he performs as Principal Clarinet in Phillipe Entremont’s Santo Domingo Music Festival in the Dominican Republic.