A “wizard of the accordion” (CBC), Michael Bridge is internationally-renowned for his warm stage personality and striking musical versatility. He tours actively in Europe, across the USA and Canada, giving over one hundred concerts annually as a soloist, with orchestra, and with his two groups, Bridge & Wolak and Ladom Ensemble. A recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s emerging artist medal, he is invested in the future of the accordion and performs almost exclusively his own transcriptions of concert music or new contemporary works, including over 50 world premiers.
A modern hybrid of a classical musician and dynamic entertainer, Bridge describes his repertoire as ‘concert music’ – encompassing baroque, classical, and contemporary works, along with a vast array of his own concert arrangements of folk and jazz music. Armed with both acoustic and digital accordions, all sounds emanating from the stage (up to the sound of a full orchestra) are played 100% live. Bridge has received numerous awards, including winning the Canadian Digital Accordion Championships, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Medal, the University of Toronto Concerto Competition and DMA Recital Competition, and the Calgary Stampede Talent Search. On tour, he performs solo or with orchestra, and with his two ensembles of unique instrumentation – Bridge & Wolak and Ladom Ensemble. He has toured in Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, France, Italy, the U.K., Brazil, Ecuador, across the USA, and in every Canadian province. Offstage, Bridge is pursuing doctoral studies in accordion performance at the University of Toronto, studying with Joseph Macerollo. He gives frequent masterclasses and guest lectures at universities and festivals on topics including Pre-Graduation Career Moves for Music Students, Performance and Professional Speaking Skills, and Composing for Accordion. He is a frequent adjudicator at accordion competitions in the USA and Canada. His first accordion was purchased at a garage sale for $5 when he was five. Two decades later, Bridge is active in many facets of the concert music scene, boldly redefining the perception of his traditional instrument.