William Helmers, clarinet, has been a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra since 1980. Mr. Helmers also performs with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Present Music, and as a guest artist with several other Midwestern ensembles and orchestras. In summers, he has been a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, the Washington Island Chamber Music Festival, the Colorado Music Festival, and the Token Creek Festival. He has been a clinician and recitalist at colleges and universities around the country.
Mr. Helmers is active in the performance and recording of new music; he gave the North American premiere of John Adams's clarinet concerto Gnarly Buttons in 1997, and the world premiere of James Grant’s Concerto for Bass Clarinet in 2004.
Mr. Helmers has performed internationally, including appearances at music festivals in Japan, Korea, Turkey, France, China, and Canada. Recently, he participated in the first complete American recording of the cycle of quintets by Anton Reicha with the famed Westwood Wind Quintet.
Mr. Helmers' other interests include golf, canoeing, Civil War history, and playing saxophone with Milwaukee's All-Star Superband.