As a solo clarinetist, Charles West has performed throughout the United States and Mexico, and in Asia and South America. Among the orchestral principal positions he has held are the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and he currently performs as principal in the Flagstaff Festival Symphony Orchestra and with the Virginia Opera. As a performer of contemporary music he has held positions with the University of Iowa Center for New Music and is now in Richmond Virginia's new music ensemble CURRENTS. West was the first president of the combined International Clarinet Society/ClariNetwork International and he performs frequently on this organization's international convention programs.
Charles West is currently Professor of Clarinet at Virginia Commonwealth University. Previous appointments have included the University of Arizona, New Mexico State University, and Grinnell College. He holds the Doctorate in Performance and is a Fulbright Scholar. Having studied at the University of Iowa with Himie Voxman and at the University of Northern Colorado with Loren Bartlett, he has done additional study with Leon Russianoff and Robert Marcellus. West has published many articles and a composition for band, he has performed for national and international conventions of composers, teachers and performers.