J. William King - Clarinet - Michigan Opera Theatre

Music is a family affair for Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra Clarinetist J. William King. His wife is a Professor of Oboe at the University of Michigan, his youngest son is finishing a bachelor’s degree in Bassoon Performance, and his oldest son has followed in William’s shoes as a clarinetist. But despite the reed base of his immediate family, Williams said opera is his favorite musical genre, though the family connection is not lost.

“My family history includes an opera singer, my paternal great-great-grandmother who emigrated from Scotland in the mid-19th Century,” he said. “Maybe playing for MOT is some type of fate.”

William has been playing clarinet for 50 years, playing with the MOT Orchestra for 13 of them with favorite productions including Margaret Gardner, The Passenger, Tosca, Turandot, Aida, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Barber of Seville and Elektra.

In addition to playing in the orchestra, he is the Coordinator of Wind Chamber Music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. In 2008, he opened Ann Arbor Clarinet Connection, an authorized Buffet Crampon dealership selling and repairing professional and student instruments. His music performance degrees include a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. He loves golf and traveling in his spare time.

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