Since being exposed to classical music in primary school, Michael Thrum has taken up several instruments and is involved in the music industry in several ways. His activities currently include performing as a classical clarinettist and as a woodwind doubler, teaching woodwind, arranging music, working in music retail and servicing musical instruments.
As a performer Michael has been involved in many orchestras including the Queensland Youth Orchestra program, Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra, Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra, Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, Ipswich City Orchestra, Redlands Symphonia, Queensland Wind Orchestra and the Queensland Philharmonia. During his time at the conservatorium Michael also performed in the Opera, Symphony, Chamber and Wind Orchestras as well as the clarinet choir and saxophone orchestra. Further more, Michael is active in the music theatre scene and has performed extensively across Brisbane performing on clarinets, saxophones and flute. Highlights of this have been a professional production of Guys and Dolls as well as the community theatre world Premier of Saturday Night Fever.
Michael is also a lover of chamber music and performs regular as part of the ‘sweet sound’ ensemble which draws upon Iranian folk music. Additionally over the years he has performed in projects such as the performance of Brisbane based composer Steve Newcomb’s piece “Flying and Floating” and was a founding member of the Blackwood clarinet quartet. As part of this chamber music experience Michael has also been involved in the recording of several new compositions, a process he enjoys. An additional highlight was performing Nigel Westlake's Malechite Glass for four percussionists and bass clarinet.
Having completed his final year at the conservatorium in 2014, Michael studied clarinet and bass clarinet under Diana Tolmie. As part of his honours year he completed a research project seeking to better understand the motivations of tertiary woodwind students and how these develop over their degree. In his second and third years Michael also undertook saxophone and flute lessons as part of the education prep strand, which also included classes in conducting and instrumental pedagogy.
During his degree at the conservatorium Michael began teaching privately as well as at Music School's Australia. He has also been a guest tutor at various music camps as well as doing instrumental teaching at St John's Anglican College, Matthew Flinders College and Northpine Christine College.
In 2015 he travelled to Europe with the Blackwood Clarinet Quartet and performed at the International Clarinet Fest in Madrid and furthered his own studies through lessons with Rocco Parisi in Italy.
During 2016 and 2017 Michael completed a Masters of Audiology Studies at the University of Queensland while still performing in musicals, the Queensland Wind Orchestra and various other orchestras, as well as working in music retail and servicing instruments.
Between 2018 and 2020 Michael was located in Townsville working for an Independant Audiology company. He also engaged in performances, private teaching and instrument repairs while here.
Michael is now back in South East Queensland living in Ormeau and is glad to be back playing with his colleagues in musicals and the Queensland Wind Orchestra once more.
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Here's a recent recording of Sutermeister's Capriccio for solo clarinet in A.