William Amsel is the principal clarinetist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, appointed by Music Director JoAnn Falletta during the 2017-2018 season. Before joining the BPO, he was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Sarasota Opera Orchestra, and principal clarinet of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with many orchestras across the country, including as guest principal with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony. He has performed as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Rochester Philharmonic and as a chamber musician has appeared with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Buffalo Chamber Players, Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, Marlboro Music Festival, and the Borromeo String Quartet, among others.
Amsel grew up in Austin and San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and received a master’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. His primary teachers were Ricardo Morales, Thomas Martin, and Ilya Shterenberg. He spent two summers as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was awarded the Gino B. Cioffi Memorial Prize, and was also a fellow at the Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Aspen Music Festival, and New York String Orchestra Seminar. He is currently on faculty at SUNY Buffalo State College, and in addition to teaching privately, has given masterclasses throughout western New York, the US, and internationally.
He lives in North Buffalo with his wife, bassoonist Rose Vrbsky, and their daughter.