Search this Site

Only days left until the
2023 Festival.

October 20, 21, 22, 2023

Michael Bridge is a 21st-century musical maverick — toppling popular expectations of what it is to be a professional accordionist.

Michael BridgeHe's a virtuoso performer — a superstar on both acoustic accordion, and its 21st-century cousin, the digital accordion. Bridge will accompany our October 21st screening of The Phantom of the Opera on his digital accordion — essentially a computer housed in a conventional accordion case. This extraordinary piece of technological wizardry imitates the sound of just about any instrument you can imagine. Michael Bridge can single-handedly shake the rafters with a convincing "1812 Overture", cannons and bells included — all 100% live.

He began playing when he was 5 and growing up in Calgary. His mom bought an accordion at a garage sale for $5. A family friend started teaching him to play by ear. Formal lessons began at 7. At 15 he attended the World Accordion Championships as a spectator. For the first time he heard classical accordion and fell in love with it. He started all over again, mastering a completely different kind of accordion and a whole new technique.

He was soon offering a hundred community concerts a year. He received his doctorate in accordion performance from the University of Toronto with Joseph Macerollo (the first Canadian to do so) and is a Rebanks Fellow at the Glenn Gould School. As a soloist with orchestra, with string quartet, and with his two ensembles, Dr. Bridge continues that pace, playing in concert halls all over the world. He's won a slew of competitions in Canada and abroad, has premiered 53 new works, and offers lectures and masterclasses around the globe. He embraces a musical esthetic that is alternately irreverent, deadly serious, meticulously prepared and completely in-the-moment. He's at home with jazz, folk and classical music.

Web site