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Micah Heilbrunn


Micah Heilbrunn


Principal clarinet of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Accomplishments: Music has taken Micah Heilbrunn all over the world, but living in Winnipeg is music to his ears. Heilbrunn has been the principal clarinet with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra since 2006, when he moved here from Toronto. The title means he is responsible for leading his group of instruments and playing orchestral solos. He has also served as principal clarinet with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia and has been on the clarinet faculty of the University of Manitoba, Brandon University and the University of Windsor.

Heilbrunn has been a featured artist at the Aspen Music Festival, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Agassiz Music Festival, the Las Vegas Music Festival and the Scotia Festival of Music.

An orchestral and chamber musician, he has appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Born in London, Ont., Heilbrunn is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan. His principal teachers included Jerome Summers, Deborah Chodacki, Robert Crowley and Joquin Valdepe±as.

Heilbrunn and the WSO played Carnegie Hall in New York City earlier this week and will be performing three nights next week in Winnipeg.

He has learned over the years that physical fitness also means musical fitness.

"It (working out) helps me to relieve stress. And people might not think about it this way, but it's actually pretty physical to play an instrument for hours a day. It (exercise) is helpful in avoiding injury," he said. "I used to have arm problems and tendinitis, but they've all sort of gone away since I've focused on being a bit stronger."


1. Favourite workout?

Right now I absolutely love CrossFit. For those that aren't familiar with it, it is a varied mix of aerobic exercise, body-weight exercises like pull-ups and pushups, as well as Olympic weightlifting. My gym, Crossfit 204, is full of fantastic coaches and people, and I try to get there as much as I can. I would highly recommend it to anyone regardless of their fitness level. I also love to downhill ski. I haven't been able to do it as much as I would have liked since I moved to Manitoba, but a group of us from the orchestra try to get away every year for a few days to spend some time in the mountains.


2. Favourite workout song?

That's a tough one... but for today let's say Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. I am also a big fan of old-school hip hop for workouts.


3. Fitness tip?

There is a sign up at my gym that says "Quitting Hurts More." I try to keep that in mind when I'm in the middle of a challenging workout. In fitness or in any activity, it is always worthwhile to give your best effort, even if you encounter some adversity along the way.


4. What's in your fridge?

I try to always have eggs, lots of fresh fruits and veggies along with some high-quality meat or seafood. I like to keep some coconut milk and some almond butter in there for smoothies, too.


5. What's your guilty pleasure?

Red wine... but I heard in France it's considered a health food!

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2014 D15

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