“After trying the Légère European cut reed for the first time, I have not looked back. No transition time, no adjusting phase or any changes to my embouchure required. If anything, this product has freed me from the tyranny of spending hours looking for the “right one”!” – F.H.
Clarinetist François Houle has established himself as one of today’s most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces. Inspired by collaborations with the world’s top musical innovators, François has developed a unique improvisational language, virtuosic and rich with sonic embellishment and technical extensions. A sought after soloist and chamber musician, he has actively expanded the clarinet’s repertoire by commissioning some of today’s leading Canadian and international composers and premiering over one hundred new works. A founding member of critically acclaimed ensembles such as Sea and Sky, The Turning Point Ensemble and Standing Wave, François has also collaborated with leading ensembles in Canada, including ECM+, Bozzini Quartet, Fibonacci Trio, among others. He has been listed on numerous occasions in Downbeat Magazine’s Readers and Critics’ Polls as “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” and “Rising Star”.
“a spectacularly versatile clarinetist who appears to have no limitations stylistically or sonically” - Mark Swed, LA Times
His extensive touring has led to solo appearances at major festivals across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. A prolific recording artist, he has released over twenty recordings as a leader, earning multiple Juno Award and West Coast Music Award nominations. He is the founder of Afterday Audio, a record label dedicated to the documentation and dissemination of his many musical projects and collaborations. In 2006, François was the featured soloist in Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes with the CBC Radio Orchestra, a performance hailed by the Los Angeles Times. In 2007, he composed and premiered a concerto for clarinet which he went on to record with the Turning Point Ensemble for a 2009 world wide release on the ATMA Classique label.
François studied at McGill University, went on to win the National Debut competition, and completed his studies at Yale University. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts and at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, and was a featured soloist in the International Clarinet Association’s 2007 and 2008 ClarinetFests. He is a faculty member at the Vancouver Community College School of Music, and graduate clarinet studio instructor at the University of British Columbia. He served as Artistic Director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute for five years. In 2008 he was appointed as “Associate Composer” of the Canadian Music Centre.