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Thomas Piercy - International Soloist and Recording Artist

Biography

                      Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with orchestral, concerto, solo recital and chamber music appearances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Described by The New York Times as “Brilliant...playing with refinement and flair…evoking a panache in the contemporary works…,” Mr. Piercy presents audiences to varied and exciting concerts of standard classical music, jazz-inspired programs, contemporary works, pieces written specifically for him and his own original arrangements, compositions and collaborations.   A versatile artist defying categorization – performing on the Emmy Award-winning Juno Baby CDs and DVDs; playing Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Earl Wild; performing concert improvisations with pianist Donal Fox; performing Mozart with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade; playing Broadway songs with Raoul Julia; conducting Cabaret or Rodgers & Hammerstein; working with the composer Leonard Bernstein; appearing in a KRS-ONE music video; playing hichiriki in Japan and the U.S.; recording with members of Maroon 5 - as an instrumentalist, singer, director and music director/conductor and actor, he has performed for Broadway and Off-Broadway, television, radio, video and commercial recordings.  Piercy performs and records on rare rosewood English-bore clarinets made for him by Luis Rossi of Santiago, Chile, and Buffet Prestige clarinets with Opperman mouthpieces and barrels. His sound has been described by critics as "uniquely beautiful and consistently warm."  Mr. Piercy has performed at many of the worlds acclaimed concerts halls including Carnegie Hall (NY, NY), Lincoln Center (NY, NY), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC.), the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Chicago, Illinois), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Wigmore Hall (London, England), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome, Italy) and Tokyo Opera City (Tokyo, Japan).  Piercy's many festival appearances have included a featured performance in memory of Leon Russianoff at the 1991 International ClarinetFest, a concert of contemporary American music at the 2005 ClarinetFest in Tokyo, Japan, and an all-Piazzolla concert at the 2007 International Clarinet Festival in Vancouver, Canada. He has performed in concerts and festivals in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, The United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan.  Mr. Piercy has received grants for recordings, commissions, and performances from the Cary Trust, the Scandinavian Foundation, the International Clarinet Association, New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Piercy's earliest studies were in both voice and clarinet. A recipient of numerous scholarships, prizes and awards, he studied clarinet, voice and conducting at the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Virginia Commonwealth University and Shenandoah Conservatory. Piercy's earliest studies were in both voice and clarinet. He began his college education studying clarinet under Dr. Stephen Johnston at Shenandoah Conservatory and Gailyn Parks at Virginia Commonwealth University. He later moved to New York City to study with Gervase De Peyer under scholarship at Mannes College of Music; he continued to study extensively with De Peyer after leaving Mannes. Piercy later studied with and soon became an assistant to the renowned clarinet pedagogue Leon Russianoff; additional clarinet studies and reed-making studies were undertaken with clarinetist, reed, barrel and mouthpiece maker, and composer Kalmen Opperman. He has had arrangements and transcriptions published by Boosey & Hawkes, and as an assistant to Kalmen Opperman, he has contributed to clarinet study books and clarinet compositions published by Carl Fischer, Inc., and Baron Publishing. In demand as a clarinet, sax and voice teacher, many of Piercy's students have gone on to schools and careers in music.  Piercy is currently the Artistic Director and clarinetist of the Gotham Ensemble. A mixed vocal and instrumental ensemble based in New York City, the Gotham Ensemble premieres, performs and records a wide variety of repertoire, from the Classical to the avant-garde. A New York Times review of Gotham's Merkin Hall, New York City, performance of a program of Olav Thommessen's music specifically encouraged the public to go out and purchase the recordings. After a performance of Ned Rorem's "Ariel" at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Rorem wrote of Gotham as one of America's important chamber music groups performing new music today. Albany Records released “Gotham Ensemble Plays Ned Rorem” - a CD of Ned Rorem's chamber music featuring the clarinet.  A frequent performer of new music, Mr. Piercy has premiered over 200 compositions written for him. The composers have ranged from 19 to 94 years of age.  They come from all walks of life and experience: from university students to university professors; from self-taught composers to composers with Ph.Ds; from emerging composers to composers that have won such prominent awards as the Takemitsu Prize, Grammy Award, Latin Grammy Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.  Ned Rorem, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Grammy Award-winning composer, wrote his only clarinet and piano piece, "Four Colors," for Mr. Piercy. The work had its premier at an 80th birthday concert celebration for Mr. Rorem at Carnegie Hall in the fall of 2003. A short list of the composers he has worked with and premiered their works include Milton Babbit, Ed Bland, Wendy Mae Chambers, David Del Tredici, Donal Fox, Daron Hagen, Jennifer Higdon, Benjamin Lees, Yuichi Matsumoto, Jun Nagao, Hifumi Shimoyama, Olav Anton Thommessen, and many others.   Piercy's discography includes "Gotham Ensemble Plays Ned Rorem", a CD of chamber music featuring the clarinet (released by Albany Records), "CAFE", a CD of music for clarinet and guitar (released by Tonada Records), the world-premier recording of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's "Ballad in Memory of Shirley Horn" and the Emmy Award winning CDs and DVDs "Juno Baby." He can also be heard on commercials, film and theater recordings.  He has recorded for the Albany, Capstone, DGI, Changing Tones, NJST, and Tonada Records labels.  More info at www.thomaspiercy.com 

                       Thomas Piercy is an official Rossi Clarinet, Forestone Reeds and Silverstein ligatures artist. www.rossiclarinet.com    www.forestone-japan.com     www.silversteinworks.com    

                      What the critics say:  Passionate.  The New York Times   The Intrepid clarinettist Thomas Piercy The New Yorker  Brilliant...playing with refinement and flair.... The New York Times   Piercy brought forth a sense of mood and appealing emotion helped by his consistently warm and beautiful sound.  The Norway Times 

                      Piercy came out swinging. People could imagine they were hearing the late, great Benny Goodman as Piercy wove to and fro.  The Richmond Times Dispatch   Piercy played with expression and character.  The New York Concert Review   Piercy has it all...extraordinary technique, a uniquely beautiful sound. He made the clarinet sing.  Le Libre Paris   A classic performance.  The Clarinet Magazine   Extraordinary performances by top players bring distinction to this recording... Piercy shows remarkable virtuosity in some deep emotional terrain.  Times Union, NY   Mr. Piercy is masterly on his clarinet.  The New York Sun   ...an intense and illuminating musical experience, Tom Piercy met the many technical demands asked for in the work, especially providing colors ranging from warm to astringent.  New Music Connoisseur   The eight musicians include the composer at the piano and they play a score longer than many operas with as much easy energy at the end as at the beginning.  The New York Times   The Best Piazzolla in New York. On Monday afternoon, there couldn’t have been anything better...an impressively inclusive overview of Piazzolla’s career. Piercy’s often mournful clarinet brought out every bit of melody in the program. The crowd was spellbound. If Piercy’s planned upcoming recording of Piazzolla works is anything like this, it’ll be amazing.  Lucid Culture   "Tokyo to New York - 2013"  A fascinatingly eclectic, virtuosic program of new works from Japan and the U.S.…Piercy tackled the music’s wide range of demands with verve, insight and sensitivity…his extended technique is subtly spectacular: throughout the concert, he exhibited misty overtones, eerie polytonalities, perfectly sinuous glissandos and command of the lows and highs beyond the reach of most clarinetists.  Piercy is doing crucial cultural preservation work here. Lucid Culture  An expressive performance of the virtuosic program.  The New York Times  …the contemporary fare here evoked a panache from the players…spirit and accomplishment everywhere…drew out brilliantly the shimmering sonic ric

 

Recordings

    

 

 

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