Michael Drapkin was a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, as Associate Principal and Bass Clarinet and the New York City Opera Touring Company and Lake George Opera Festival, as Principal Clarinet. He has spent summers playing at Aspen and at Tanglewood as a Berkshire Music Center fellow, and is an active chamber musician and performer. Mr. Drapkin is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Stanley Hasty, toured Japan with the Eastman Wind Ensemble under Donald Hunsberger, and played Principal Clarinet in the Eastman Philharmonia under David Effron. He also studied clarinet with Gary Gray, Charles Bay and Harold Wright. Michael Drapkin is a Selmer Performing Artist, and performs on a beautiful Selmer Model 33 Low-C Bass Clarinet (shown in photograph).
Drapkin has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Portland Symphony, the Long Island Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Philharmonic and with conductors Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Tilson Thomas, Neville Marriner, Leonard Slatkin, Lucas Foss, Christopher Keene, Klaus Tennstedt, Frederick Fennell, and many more celebrated orchestras and maestros. He is currently the bass clarinetist of the Mid-Texas Symphony.
You can hear many of Drapkin’s performances at: www.drapkin.net/audio.
Michael Drapkin is considered one of the leading proponents for music entrepreneurship education in the United States today. He is a performing clarinetist, an educator, a technology executive, a published composer/arranger, and an entrepreneur that has worked with over 30 startup firms to the Fortune 500. He has written for the New York Times, chaired a program at an Ivy League university, spoken and given lectures across the country, and has written, cowritten or contributed to 12 books.
Drapkin founded and presented the Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship (BCOME) for two summers at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina, attracting as attendees professional musicians, industry professionals, college music faculty and deans from as far away as Singapore. For BCOME, he was awarded $100,000 in grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation – the nation’s largest entrepreneurship foundation – and was one of their first music grantees ever. For his efforts with BCOME, Drapkin was a finalist for Best Non-Profit CEO for The Ten Awards – the “Academy Awards of New York Business,” an annual selection of ten companies and individuals in the greater New York business community that display extraordinary leadership and innovation to improve their business. He has delivered keynote speeches, lectures and master classes across the U.S. including Eastman, Juilliard, Northwestern and The University of Texas at Austin, among others.
Michael Drapkin has enjoyed a career as a music performer, composer, arranger, educator, clinician and adjudicator. Following the Wall Street adage of eat what you kill, Drapkin developed his own band Yiddish Cowboys in Austin, Texas, and featured them in the Classical Crossover showcase he ran for South by Southwest in 2011, where he brought bands from around the world that are classically trained and have crossed over to the mainstream and brought their virtuosity with them. As a clarinetist, he was a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, as Associate Principal and Bass Clarinet and the New York City Opera Touring Company and Lake George Opera Festival, as Principal Clarinet, and has performed under conductors ranging from Leonard Bernstein to Seiji Ozawa. He has spent summers playing at Aspen and at Tanglewood as a Berkshire Music Center fellow, and was solo clarinetist and Executive Director of Music Amici, Rockland County, NY’s oldest professional chamber music group and one of the finest in the New York City area, and performed with them in Carnegie Hall. Mr. Drapkin is widely known in the bass clarinet world as author of Symphonic Repertoire for the Bass Clarinet Volumes One, Two, Three and Four, which have become standard literature among orchestral bass clarinetists worldwide, and each fall he judges music at marching band contests for the United States Scholastic Band Association.
In addition to Drapkin’s seminal books for the bass clarinet, he has been a prolific composer/arranger. His Suite of Old Yiddish Melodies for concert band was premiered by the Wind Ensemble at the North Carolina School of the Arts, his John Dowland Suite for Band was premiered by the Manhattan Wind Ensemble, and The Rabbi Chaplain’s March was premiered by the Navy Band Southwest. Drapkin has been composing arrangements for two clarinets and bass clarinet since he was in college, and they span repertoire from orchestra, band, opera, marches and other genres, and will be published by his long-time publisher Northeastern Music Publications as three volumes across over 50 pieces. You can see all of his compositions at http://www.drapkin.net/compositions/
Drapkin has been an active member of the College Music Society, which represents college music faculty worldwide. He was chair of the Careers Outside the Academy Committee three times and led a pre-conference seminar for them in Atlanta. He was also a member of the Board of Directors and has been a keynote speaker for their Southwest Chapter, and made presentations at the CMS National Conference annually for 12 years.
For more information, visit www.drapkin.net.