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Guy Dangain Master Classes and Nicolas Fargeix in class and performing Weber
25 April 2009
Clarimania 2009 Festival in
Wrocklaw, Poland at the Karola Lipinskiego Academy of Music 23 - 25 April 2009 with
Alessandro Carbonare and other major Players, including Guy Dangain from Paris,
Nicolas Fargeix, and Directed by Jan Jacub Bokun
On April 23-25, 2009, Clarimania 2009 was held at the Karola Lipińskiego Academy
of Music (Akademia Muzyczna im. Karola Lipińskiego) in Wrocław, Poland.
Clarinetist and conductor Jan Jakub Bokun directed the festival and it was
largely sponsored by Henri Selmer Paris. The artist faculty for the festival
consisted of: Alessandro Carbonare, Nicolas Fargeix, Guy Dangain, and Timothy
The opening night concert consisted of performances by young clarinetists with
burgeoning careers. These soloists were accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra
from the Academy, conducted by Jan Jakub Bokun. Nicolas Fargeix wonderfully
performed Clarinet Concerto No. 1, Op. 73 by Carl Maria von Weber.
Students Przemysław Polak and Adam Eljasiński performed Il Convengo by
Amilcare Ponchielli. Finally, student Borys Biniecki contributed the clarinet
part to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante KV 297b.
Friday began with two simultaneous master classes in different locations. One
was conducted by Nicolas Fargeix and the other by Timothy Phillips. The
afternoon included an illuminating presentation by Guy Dangain on Première
Rhapsody by Claude Debussy. The evening concert featured Alessandro
Carbonare and his pianist, Monaldo Braconi. They masterfully performed works by
Tirincanti, Pasculli, Salvia, Giampieri, Kovacs, and Zappa.
Saturday morning, Alessandro Carbonare presented an historically enriching
master class on Gioacchino Rossini’s Introduction, Theme, and Variations.
In the afternoon, Guy Dangain gave an open master class and ended with impromptu
performances of Variations on a Northern Chinese Folksong by Zhang Wu and
the French Jeanjean showpiece, Guisganderie.
ended on Saturday evening with Nicolas Fargeix performing Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart’s Quintet in A Major KV 581 and Johannes Brahms’s Quintet in B
Minor, Op. 115 with the Slovak String Quartet. The group performed these
works with great sensitivity and ease. It was a fitting ending to such a fine
Milano Conservatory Chamber
Ensemble Performance of Unknown Italian composers
22 April 2009
which took place at SALA PUCCINI, Milan Conservatory
for the anniversary (200 years) of the foundation of the Milano Conservatory
landmark performance took place at this BiCentennial celebration of this great
Italian Consevatory with music composed by relatively unknown quality composers
from the past history possibly originating from this school. Professor
Luigi Magistrelli, a noted soloist and a WKA Artist VIP, was actively involved
in this concert with several professor colleagues and students of high standing
participating as well. Chamber music including sextets and Septets were
Lichtenthal Septet, Alessandro Rolla Sextet, and
Bonifazio Asioli ( first
director of the Milan Conservatory) Sextet.
Ohio Gala participants, Artist
Faculty, and Michele Gingras and Director Rebecca Rischen
19 April 2009
Ohio University Clarinet Gala
- Dr Rebecca Rischen, Director
Athens, Ohio USA
This annual major Clarinet event at this University under Dr Rebecca Rischen was
a major success for the benefit of all the students and participants who came
out. Over 50 were in attendance involved in 2 Master Classes given by
Miami University Professor Michele Gingras and Dr Rischen. An
interesting aspect about Dr Gingras is her extensive background and love for
Klezmer Music, inspired by her mentor Giora Feidman, in which it was love at
first heard. She has made several recordings and has written extensively
about the art of Klezmer playing, as shown by a marathon class involving
participants on how to play the technical and musical aspects of playing this
music. She gave a Master Class for students in dealing with performance
issues, such as the importance of relaxation and hand position with intriguing
demonstrations showing how tense the students were. If one were to totally
relax, you would collapse, but her demonstrating with students by having them be
as loose as possible- totally dropping their arms after being held up, sent an
interesting message. After that happened, the natural hand position
revealed itself and perhaps gave insight as to doing this as a pre-play of the
horn. During the Klezmer Class, tonal flexibility was key, in
dealing with tone bending, scooping, overtone playing without use of the
register key which opened up flexibilty in chirping out the upper partials.
Many of these ideas can carry over to basic tonal voicing. Charles Neidich
places emphasis on this ability to voice the Clarinet and loosen up and be able
to play high notes with more ease. The morning sessions with Gingras were
There was a Clarinet Choir reading session covering
several pieces to cover ensemble playing, conducted by Dr Rischen and a Graduate
student in Wind conducting.
A Master Class for High School and one College
student followed covering basic fundamentals and pointers as to improvement and
Michele Gingras gave a recital covering major
literature and Klezmer music she is so expertly versed. The evening
concert featured a Potpourri Recital with guest Faculty and a Clarinet Choir
from Wright University conducted by Dr Randall Paul.
The entire day was without a boring moment, and was a way to meet others with
parallel interests. Quality of performances were first rate and
diversified, giving broad insights for all to expand upon. Dr Rischen is
to be commended for this dedication. She is an Artist VIP with WKA.
Artist Guest Faculty Dr Caroline Hartig and Amitai Vardi
18 April 2009
University of Akron Clarinet
Day - Kris Belisle, Director
Akron, Ohio USA
On Saturday, April 18, 2009, the NorthEast Ohio Clarinet Association at
the University of Akron hosted UA's Seventh Annual Clarinet Day. Nearly 40 high
school students attended with full attendance reaching 70, so it was a very
exciting day! Clinics and recitals were performed by UA clarinet faculty Dr.
Kristina Belisle and Amitai Vardi and by the featured guest artist, Dr. Caroline
Hartig of Michigan State University. Hartig performed a recital,
collegiate-level masterclass and also gave a clinic on circular breathing,
Other events included a performance by the Jackson High School Clarinet Choir,
led by Michele Monigold and a clarinet choir reading session, led by Mark Tryon
of Lake High School, a former UA clarinet alum.
Caroline Hartig is associate professor of clarinet at
the Michigan State University College of Music.
Acclaimed as a clarinet soloist and chamber musician
throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan,
Hartig has appeared with orchestras and contemporary
music ensembles in major concert halls including
Carnegie Hall, where she also made her solo debut;
Merkin Concert Hall, Symphony Hall (Boston), and the
Fritz Reiner Center for Contemporary Music. She has
performed as a guest artist for the International
Clarinet Association and has been heard on National
Public Radio’s "Morning Edition" and "Center Stage from
Wolf Trap." Widely recognized and sought after for
numerous new-music collaborations, Hartig recently
performed the world premiere of Chalumeau for Solo
Clarinet by Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer William
Bolcom in Tokyo, Japan. She also can be heard on the
compact disc Dancing Solo
Records 512, innovarecordings.com) featuring the
solo and chamber clarinet works of composer Libby
Larsen. “It is in Dancing Solo that Ms. Hartig
really demonstrates her musicality and prodigious
technique…simply virtuosic”(The Clarinet).
Other collaborations with Larsen include the world
premiere of “Bally Deux,” a jazz/classical hybrid double
concerto composed for Hartig and jazz clarinetist Eddie
Daniels. Additionally, Hartig is heard on the compact
disc Clarinet Brilliante (Centaur Records #2572
centaurrecords.com). It was honored as a “Critics’
Choice” by the American Record Guide, which
stated: “Hartig dazzles with numbing, blazing fluidity
and rich, luxuriant fervor…coiled virtuosity.”
In a recent "Overview of Woodwind Recordings,"
American Record Guide cited Clarinet Brilliante
as one of the “best of the best” for the performance of
clarinet recital literature: “For some sweet-sounding
barnburners, Caroline Hartig weaves a spellbinding
recital.” Also selected as “Editor’s Choice” by
Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine of Great Britain,
Hartig’s artistry is described as “positively
breathtaking in its scope and performance.” Hartig’s
most recent CD, Clarinet Brilliante II (Centaur
Records 2808) was released in September 2006.
In demand as a master teacher and clinician,
Hartig has presented sessions at the Midwest
International Band and Orchestra Clinic, Band of
America, and was on the faculty of the 2006 All State
Band and Orchestra at the Interlochen Center for the
Arts. She served as an adjudicator for the 2006
International Clarinet Association Young Artist
Competition and is the Michigan state-chair for the
International Clarinet Association. Hartig is a Buffet
artist/clinician and performs on the Buffet Festival
clarinet. For more information visit
, an avid soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician,
made his solo debut in 1995 with the Madison Symphony
Orchestra as a first place winner of the Steenbock Young
Artist Competition. He has since won several concerto
competitions, including the Round Top International
Festival Competition, Cleveland Institute of Music
Concerto Competition, and Agnes Fowler Competition. In
addition, Vardi has soloed with the Central Ohio
Symphony Orchestra, and performed the North American
premiere of Srul Glick's concerto The Klezmer's
Wedding with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Currently serving as acting principal of Cleveland
Opera, Vardi has substituted with several professional
orchestras, including the New World Symphony, American
Ballet Theatre, Monte Carlo Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and
the Cleveland Orchestra, with which he toured to New
York, Philadelphia, and Boston in 2003. His enthusiasm
for chamber music — particularly in collaboration with
string and piano players — has enabled him to perform
concert tours in the United States, South America,
Europe, and his native Israel. Vardi received his
Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University in
1999, where he studied with Eli Eban, and his Master of
Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music, as a
student of Franklin Cohen.
Credit is due to Professor Kristina Belisle for the
success of this Day. She is former Secretary of
the International Clarinet Association and a WKA Artist
Mensi Clarinet Competition group
and Artist Jury
From left Alfredo Vena , third price, Giuseppe Recchia, second prize, Giovanni
Punzi, first prize
the winners (in the middle) of the “Excellence “ category
9 April 2009
“Fabio Mensi” International Clarinet Competition in Breno (Italy)
held April 7-8 -9 2009
annual competition involving various student levels with an International jury
of acclaimed performers and Professors convened in Breno with Professor Luigi
Magistrelli in a major role of ensuring its success.
Jury : Silvio
Maggioni, Fabio di Casola, Nicola Miorada, Primo Borali, Luigi Magistrelli
9 April 2009
Ocala Symphony Orchestra 18th Annual Young Artist
Competition held 24 January 2009 - Conductor Dr James Plondke, and Jennifer
Suzanne MacClay, Freshman at the University of Florida with Winner's Performance
4 - 5 April performing Carl Maria von Weber's Clarinet Concerto No 2, Op 74
Ocala and Gainesville, Florida USA
A major Soloist accomplishment is noted here with University of Florida Freshman
Jennifer MaClay, who has won 2 competitions within a span of a few months, with
the 18th Ocala Symphony Young Artists Competition and within her own University
the 8th University of Florida Clarinet Studio Competition winning a Solo
Performance with that ensemble, that has achieved International stature.
She won the 2009 Ocala Symphony Young Artist Competition and performed
the Weber Concerto No. 2 in two concerts with the orchestra on April 4 & 5,
2009. She received $1,000 for winning the competition.
Jenny also won the Eighth Annual University of Florida Clarinet Studio
Concerto Competition and was soloist with the UF Clarinet
Ensemble in the Crusell Concerto No. 2 on April 9, 2009. We will be hearing a
great deal about this brilliant young performer in the months and years ahead.
Jenny MaClay has been a rapid developing up and coming player with
an example setting quality having studied with solid teachers, and achieving
notoriety as a soloist winner in many earlier young artist competitions in the
Southeast United States. What is vitally important for any young
player is the drive and constant awareness and follow-up of pursuing
opportunities leading to a cumulative success, and Ms MaClay has achieved that,
in attending diligently Clarinet workshops, Symposiums, ClarinetFests, and
achieving the distinction of attending the Buffet Clarinet Academy at younger
age as a High School student against the competition to enroll by college
students much older than her.
Ms. Maclay is a graduate
of Sparkman High School, Class of 2008, in Huntsville, Alabama. She was the
only North American high school student selected to participate in the inaugural
year of the Buffet Crampon USA Summer Clarinet Academy. She has appeared as
soloist with the Huntsville Symphony and is currently a member of the University
of Florida Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra and Clarinet Ensemble.
5 April 2009
Charleston, West Virginia and on Tour
A momentous and historic week occurred involving the West Virginia Symphony of
Charleston with a four stateside city tour with West Virginia native from
Charleston Larry Combs, Solo Clarinetist Emeritus from the Chicago Symphony,
with a performance of the Carl M. von Weber 1st Clarinet Concerto Op 73 along
with the Suppe Light Cavalry Overture and the Dvorak 8th Symphony. On all
concerts, the Orchestra was in top form making a meaningful array of events.
Maestro Grant Cooper, a proactive and inspired Music Director made this
situation event with Combs possible, rendering deserved honors to this legend
Clarinetist. He has supported Clarinet performance with this Orchestra on
several occasions including an appearance with Jazz great Ken Poplowski and with
their own star Solo Clarinetist Robert Turizziani. Performances of this
tour included Princeton, Elkins, Charleston, and Lexington, all in fine halls.
On Saturday 4 April at West Virginia State
University in nearby Institute, a major Master Class with critical intense
coaching took place involving 6 selected by audition students, who covered
repertoire including the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto, the Weber Concertino Op
26, the Poulenc Sonata, the Mozart Concerto, and the Brahms 2nd Sonata, giving a
diverse array for covering musical and technical points to benefit the students.
Each student had issues to be helped with and Combs coached with positive
suggestion and detailed covering of problems to be improved upon. Result
changes were seen very quickly in each of the students showing how they improved
after this coaching. Logistical efforts by Education Manager Betty King made
this class event well handled and attended.
Immediately following this class, all were invited and came to a Music Shop in
Charleston, Gorby's Music, operated by
a longtime friend and Clarinetist Jerry Gorby, and included a reception and
showing of many older Clarinets, including Boosey & Hawkes Symphony 10/10, noted
in use in English Orchestras, the Wurlitzer Aeler System Klarinette, a Wurlitzer
Reform Boehm Klarinette, a McIntyre Clarinet, and many others collected over the
years. In addition, there were books on Clarinet including Doctoral Papers
on this subject. Also shown were videos of the old days when both Combs
and Gorby played together in High School, including an appearance on Nationwide
Television in a Clarinet Ensemble.
What is very unique and inspiring about this tour and Combs involvement here is
the fact that the Orchestra took the charge to make this event possible, unlike
a University initiating it. This is a first and a great reflection on the
Orchestra and its Music Director Maestro Cooper. This Orchestra is
certainly a model to be benchmarked as a true supporter of music and musicians.
4 April 2009
RAASAY SOLO BASS CLARINET COURSE - Sarah Watts,
The Isle of Raasay, Scotland, United Kingdom
The Isle of Raasay, Scotland, UK became home to a solo bass clarinet
course from 31st March – 4th April 2009.
The course venue was supposed to have been Raasay House with the ensemble
rarescale, but a major fire destroyed this wonderful 17th century
building in January so the bass clarinet course transferred to the brand new
community centre on the island whilst the rest of rarescale headed for the Isle
During the week, the participants played bass clarinet by day and the evenings
were spent exploring the stunningly beautiful island and drinking the famous
Scottish single malt whiskeys!
The course content involved improvisation, technique, chamber music, individual
lessons and concerts. Sarah’s pianist with her duo SCAW spent the Wednesday
afternoon doing a session on bass clarinet and piano repertoire after a lunch
concert in which SCAW performed core recital works.
The Thursday afternoon saw rarescale visit Raasay for a concert of music for
bass clarinet, alto/bass flute (Carla Rees) and electronics (Michael Oliva).
There were several world premieres by Dan di Maggio and Iain Matheson.
The highlight of the concert was a new solo work for bass clarinet by Sir
Harrison Birtwistle called Roddy’s Reel. Birtwistle had lived on Raasay in the
1970s/80s and wrote Roddy’s Reel for Sarah to play on the island. Roddy was
Birtwistle’s friend and Neighbour on the Island and Sarah was delighted that
many of the islanders came to support the concert and to hear the piece that was
written in memory of Roddy.
The final day again saw the rarescale course return to Raasay for the end of
course chamber music concert, The bass clarinets all joined together for a bass
clarinet octet and quartets with a grand finale of two Raasay folk songs!
The 2010 Raasay solo bass clarinet course will be held from 12th -16th
April 2010. Tutors will be Sarah Watts and Antony Clare.
More information is on
or email Sarah on
Cornucopia Artist Faculty Steve
Cohen, Marjorie Shearer, Rich Moore, Ramses Bugarin, and Director Gregory
Barrett and Klezmer Dance performance with Clarinet Choir
4 April 2009
Clarinet Cornucopia - DeKalb
University - Dr Gregory Barrett, Director
DeKalb, Illinois USA
The seventh annual NIU Clarinet Cornucopia, Clarinets in
Motion, was held April 4, 2009 in DeKalb with 60 student, amateur, and
professional clarinetists participating. Inspired by Karlheinz Stockhausen’s
In Freundschaft, Dr. Gregory Barrett, the festival director and host, led a
clarinet clock-like and circling warm-up. Sliding into the next session,
conductor Patrick Sheehan began the first of two Cornucopia Choir rehearsals in
works by Galay/Barrett, Kostianen, and Grainger/Sheehan all related to dance or
marching. Moving out of our seats we gained insight into how our bodies
communicate to an audience as soon as we walk onto a stage and during a
performance through a movement workshop given by mime artists T. Daniel and
After a break to visit with Walter Grabner’s Clarinet Xpress
and Jack Mogan’s Brookdale Music, Steve Cohen, professor of clarinet and Kay
Kim, lecturer in piano at Northwestern University gave the featured recital.
Steve and Kay were joined by T. Daniel and Laurie Willets in an innovative
program of music and physical theatre. Steve began with a performance of
Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo from behind a white back-lit
screen. Only his silhouette was visible to the audience. With Laurie he
performed two movements of Libby Larsen’s Dancing Solo. T. Daniel offered
a solo piece without music and then Steve and Kay showcased their beautiful
musicianship with an arrangement for clarinet and piano from Prokofiev’s
Romeo and Juliet, as well as Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion. Steve and
Laurie offered a humorous set of Bedtime Stories by Tom Johnson for
clarinet and narrator. Greg Barrett, playing Eb clarinet, joined Steve, T. and
Laurie for the premiere of a newly created piece, Simple Dynamics, with
music composed by Piotr Behr, a former clarinet student of Dr. Barrett’s. The
recital concluded with both clarinetists and mime artists in the B Minor
Two-part Invention #15 by J.S. Bach. Steve Cohen’s appearance was made possible
by Buffet Clarinets.
Professor Cohen’s master class included performances by NIU
students Marjorie Shearer, Rich Moore, and Ramses Bugarin in works of Weiner,
Weber, and Jeanjean. Steve used the music and performances to stress the
importance of knowing exactly what you want to communicate musically and then
having the control and technical ability to clearly show your musical ideas.
The first of the two evening events was a Trio/Quartet
competition with both High School and Open Divisions. A trio from Woodstock High
School was the first place winner in their division. First through third places
in the Open division were won by the Coast to Coast Quartet from NIU, Central
College Clarinet Quartet (Pella, Iowa), and the By B-flats from Quincy,
Illinois. The judges were Cindy Doggett from Central College, Walter Grabner,
and Dan Sheridan from Winona State University. Vandoren provided reeds and other
prizes for the competition. Thank you, David Gould and Vandoren!
The day concluded with performances by the Luther J. Wright Junior-Senior High
School Clarinet Choir from Ironwood, Michigan, Steven Boyd director, and the
Cornucopia Choir. The Cornucopia Choir was joined for the performance of the
Klezmer Suite by twelve dancers from NIU’s School of Theatre and Dance under
the direction of Professor Judith Chitwood.
All in all it was a unique day focusing on many aspects of
clarinets and motion. The 2010 NIU Cornucopia is being planned to include
featured artist Eli Eban from Indiana University School of Music. Hope you can
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Revised: September 01, 2009