Michael Bridge has performed in China, Croatia, Italy, France, the U.K., and across the USA and Canada. He made his solo orchestral debut with the Boston Pops at age 17 and performs classical, contemporary classical, folk, jazz, rock and pop music on acoustic accordion, digital accordion, and piano.
Bridge is a graduate student in classical accordion performance at the University of Toronto, studying with Professor Joseph Macerollo. His former teachers include Beverley Fess (accordion), Donna Holoboff (piano), and composers Timothy Janz and Robert Rosen (theory, history and composition).
Bridge won the University of Toronto Concerto Competition (2015), the Calgary Stampede Talent Search (2013), and is a two-time Canadian Digital Accordion Champion (2013, 2011). He placed 2nd at the Digital Accordion World Championships (2013) and 4th at the Junior Acoustic World Accordion Championships (2011).
Michael has collaborated with both Quartetto Gelato and Bellows and Brass (as a substitute member), the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra (Nov. ’15), the Ontario Philharmonic, the I.C.O.T. Orchestra, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra (date TBA), the Euphonia Chamber Orchestra, Soundstreams, Fawn Opera, Barrie Concerts (Oct. ’15), TEDx Talks, The Chopin Society, the Royal Conservatory of Music contemporary music ensemble, Ladom Ensemble, The Collective, the Alex Meixner Band, the Crystal Plamondon Band, The Lizzy Hoyt Band, the Doll Sisters, Joseph Johnson (cello), Joseph Macerollo (accordion), Kornel Wolak and Peter Stoll (clarinet), Ivana Santilli, Melanie Conly, Maeve Palmer and Conrad Siebert (voice), Larnell Lewis, Dan Barton and Norm Bergeron (percussion), Marek Majewski and Michael Savona (classical guitar), and Alicia Baker, Cory Pessaturo and Mario Pedone (accordion).
Along with Dr. Kornel Wolak (clarinet and piano), Bridge is a founding member of DOUBLE-DOUBLE DUO – a high-energy and technologically advanced show with upcoming performances from Ecuador to Poland. Bridge has been a full-time member of Ladom Ensemble since 2014 – an acoustic Iranian-Serbian-Classical quartet based out of Toronto.
Bridge has adjudicated accordion competitions in the USA and Canada, and has given masterclasses in Virginia, West Virginia, Illinois, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Alberta and Ontario. In 2010, he was a theory instructor at the CASSA (Calgary Arts Summer School Association) summer program for youth.
Some of Bridge’s most surprising and unusual performance credits include a TEDx Talk, playing on a float in the Calgary Stampede Parade to a live audience of 300,000, improvising live silent film accompaniments to films by Charlie Chaplin and Bustar Keaton, premiering the first-ever chamber works written with digital accordion through Fawn Opera, playing polka-rock fusion shows at Texas’ wildly popular Wurstfest, and performing an accordion solo on stage with The Barenaked Ladies in If I Had $1,000,000.
Over the past decade, Bridge has recorded and produced 7 folk albums and 1 classical album (including two albums of his own compositions). As a collaborator, he has recorded two albums with Alicia Baker for the Baker-Bridge Duo, and was featured on Grammy-nominated artist Alex Meixner’s album Happiness Is a Choice.
Bridge works professionally in English, French and Spanish. He performs on Pigini and Scandalli acoustic accordions, and Roland digital accordions.
“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
“Bridge makes accordion cool! He has the uncanny ability to turn disbelievers into staunch supporters…” – Airdrie Echo