Ricardo Morales was appointed principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra by Maestro Sawallisch in 2002. Prior to this position, he was Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position he assumed at the age of 21. He can be heard on numerous The Metropolitan Opera Presents televised broadcasts from his tenure there. He began his professional career as Principal Clarinet of the Florida Symphony Orchestra.
A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he began his studies at the Escuela Libre de Música, along with his five siblings, who are all themselves distinguished musicians. He continued his studies at Indiana University, where he received his Artist Diploma, and Cincinnati College Conservatory.
He has soloed with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Flemish Radio Symphony, North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Florida Symphony Orchestra, and the Columbus Symphony. He soloed with the MET Orchestra under the baton of James Levine in Carnegie Hall and on two European Tours. He has also performed in the MET Chamber Ensemble series at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, performing with James Levine at the piano as well as participating in numerous chamber concerts. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Concert Series, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and on NBC’s The Today Show.
The New York Times review from his Carnegie Hall performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto hailed Morales as having “fleet technique, utterly natural musical grace, and the lyricism and breath control of a fine opera singer.” Morales was again recognized in the New York Times review of the 2003 Metropolitan Opera production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, where his playing was singled out as “exquisite” and that he “deserved a place onstage during curtain calls.”
He has also been an active recitalist and given master-classes at many universities, summer music festivals and woodwind conferences. He currently serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School.