Concert-accordionist Michael Bridge is a captivating young musician, redefining the sound and image of his traditional instrument. Named one of CBC’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”, he is internationally renowned for his dynamic stage- presence and unique musical versatility. His repertoire – classical masterworks, baroque, jazz, world music, folk dances, contemporary classical, and digital accordion compositions – smashes all stereotypes concerning the limitations of his instrument. He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at 17, and has performed on four continents, now playing over 100 concerts per year.
Michael was given his first accordion at age five, purchased at a garage sale for $5. Now studying accordion performance at the University of Toronto with Joseph Macerollo, he has won numerous prizes including the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award, the U of T Concerto Competition, and the Calgary Stampede Talent Search. In 2013, he placed 2nd at the World Digital Accordion Championships. He has adjudicated accordion competitions and taught masterclasses across the USA and Canada.
Michael is a founding member of Double-Double Duo, having toured Ecuador, Poland, France and across Canada with his collaborator Dr. Kornel Wolak (clarinet). Their debut album launched in 2015, entitled ‘Rock Bach’. He performs in Ladom Ensemble, an acoustic Iranian-Serbian-classical-tango quartet.
An ardent supporter of new music, Michael has over thirty world premieres to his credit, including works by Anna Pigdorna, Airat Ichmouratov and Pouya Hamidi. As a composer, he wrote and recorded two folk albums and is the primary arranger for several of his chamber ensembles. He has gratefully received support for his academic work and touring from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, The Sylva Gelber Music Foundation, the Government of Alberta and the University of Toronto.
“I’m amazed what you do with this instrument, I find it totally baffling!”
- Keith Lockhart, conductor, Boston Pops
"What an impressive artist! Michael achieves an awe-inspiring level of virtuosity on the accordion. His performances are done with musicianship, style and flair that are second to none.”
- Marco Parisotto, conductor, Ontario Philharmonic
“Michael is both an accomplished musician and a riveting entertainer. His versatility and virtuosity are equally amazing.”
- Dr. Paul Gooch, President, Victoria University at the University of Toronto