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November 2013 Hot News



25 November 2013

Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein joined with conductor Vladimir Lande and the Washington Soloists Chamber Orchestra for a performance of Sean Hickey's Clarinet Concerto at Merkin Hall

New York City USA

           Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein joined conductor Vladimir Lande and the Washington Soloists Chamber Orchestra for a performance of Sean Hickey's Clarinet Concerto in what will be Mr. Fiterstein's first live performance of the concerto in North America after recording the piece for the 2013 album Sean Hickey: Concertos. Also on the program was Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 performed by Xiayin Wang as part of her five-concert series at Merkin Concert Hall. The concert took place at Merkin Hall in the Kaufman Music Center on Monday, November 25 at 7:30 p.m.

           Sean Hickey: Concertos, which was released on the DELOS label in 2013, features Mr. Fiterstein's performance of the Clarinet Concerto with Mr. Lande and the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Fiterstein gave the Russian premiere performance with Mr. Lande in the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in November 2011. Mr. Fiterstein's debut concerto album featuring both of Carl Maria von Weber's clarinet concertos recorded with Martin West and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra was released on October 1, 2013 on the Bridge label.

           In the 2013-14 season Mr. Fiterstein will perform with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Daedalus Quartet, the IRIS Orchestra, the Minnesota Sinfonia, and will travel to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to perform chamber music. He will perform at the Kennedy Center with his ensemble, the Zimro Project, in a concert of rarely performed Russian Jewish chamber music, and he will perform with his Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein trio for University of Chicago Presents and the Civic Music Association in Iowa. Mr. Fiterstein was also named Co-Artistic Director of the new Sedona Winter Musicfest, taking place in January in Carefree, Arizona.

          Mr. Fiterstein was born in Belarus. At the age of two, he immigrated with his family to Israel where he later studied at the Israel Arts and Science Academy. He graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Juilliard School. Mr. Fiterstein is recipient of the 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, a first prize winner of the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition and the "Aviv" competitions in Israel; a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions; and he is the recipient of the Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award (Tokyo) and numerous awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Mr. Fiterstein is the clarinet professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

          Read more about Alexander Fiterstein to Play Merkin Concert Hall, 11/25 - BWWClassical MusicWorld by




24 November 2013

New York Philharmonic Legend and Senior VIP Stanley Drucker and Naomi Drucker perform Major Recital at the State University of New York (Middletown) - Orange County Community College Artist Series 

Middletown, New York USA

           In 2009 Stanley Drucker, after 61 years in the New York Philharmonic, and Solo Clarinetist since 1960, along with his cohort and wife Naomi, gave a major class recital for a near capacity audience at this Community College Artist Series.   Program included many of the standard literature for recital, including works of Bernstein, Debussy, Weber, Poulenc, Mendellsohn, and Weinberg.  Along with galleries above with the program, it was an endurance challenge, and after being retired over 4 years, there is no letup in the core excellence of the performance.  Many who retire from an Orchestra do not maintain their drive to keep playing, not to be seen here.  Dr Drucker in the past years has been even busier in performance, judging at major competitions here and abroad, with many future projects in preparation.   The same can be said of Naomi, who directs the American Chamber Ensemble, and teaches as a faculty member at Hofstra University.   This is an inspiration to all to never lose it and keep the musical drive alive, and they are a model to be emulated.  Stanley Drucker is a legend of our time.



 23 November 2013

Solemn Day Recalled by Strings and Heartstrings with Performance of Messiean's Quartet for the End of Time with VIP Charles Neidich and members of the Brentano String Quartet - Classical Tributes to Kennedy in Dallas

Dallas, Texas USA

               Brass and percussion players from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra were to have presented a half-hour prelude to The 50th, the city’s official commemoration of the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which took place at noon on Friday outdoors in Dealey Plaza, the site of the shooting. The short concert, which was to have begun with Leonard Bernstein’s “Fanfare for the Inauguration of J.F.K.,” fell victim to the cold, wind and rain (actually, sleet at times).

               There was still music woven into the event itself, performed by the Dallas Metro Police Pipes and Drums and the United States Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club. And there were other musical memorials over the weekend.

               Apart from the Dallas Symphony program presented Thursday through Sunday (and already reviewed in these pages), the most notable classical tribute was a chamber concert presented at City Performance Hall on Saturday evening as part of the Soundings series of the Nasher Sculpture Center. It featured the Brentano String Quartet, the clarinetist Charles Neidich and the pianist Seth Knopp in works by Messiaen, Cage and Steven Mackey.

              It also included recorded material: Theodore Bikel reading Jorge Luis Borges’s “In Memoriam, J.F.K.”; sounds from Kennedy’s funeral (drumbeats, hoofbeats, bagpipes); the words of John and Robert Kennedy punctuating Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”; the words of President Kennedy, Walter Cronkite and individual citizens framing Cage’s “4’33”.”

             The Messiaen work, a rapt and soulful look ahead to the last days as envisioned in the Book of Revelation, was beautifully performed by Mr. Neidich, Mr. Knopp and two Brentano members: Mark Steinberg, violinist, and Nina Lee, cellist. The mute “4’33”,” which Cage called “Silent Prayer,” when conceiving it, was enacted by Brentano players, one taking the stage for each of its three movements and sitting in cumulative silence, which was finally broken, all too predictably, by the ringing of a cell phone.

"Mr Neidich’s complete technical and emotional command in Abîme des oiseaux (“Abyss of the Birds”) was so transcendent that even such virtuosity couldn’t remind me I was merely at a concert on a Saturday night. His performance was matched i...n intensity and subtlety by that of his colleagues – violinist Mark Steinberg and cellist Nina Lee of the Brentano String Quartet, and Seth Knopp, pianist and Artistic Director of Soundings." -- Evan Mitchell for Bachtrack

              The Brentano players concluded the evening with Mr. Mackey’s “One Red Rose,” which was written for the anniversary and had its premiere in New York in February. Named for a phrase from a Secret Service agent’s description of the presidential limousine after the shooting, this compelling work, in Mr. Mackey’s words, “explores the dialectic between the personal and the public”: the personal, presumably, in its first section, Five Short Studies, intimate character pieces that are variously reflective, probing, anxious; public in its second section, the anguished Fugue and Fantasy; and in its third, the Anthem and Aria, still agitated but straining to look beyond.

            “The World Is Very Different Now,” the young Conrad Tao’s new piece in the Dallas Symphony program, also plays personal against public, taking its origin, in Mr. Tao’s words, from “the many devastatingly personal stories that use J.F.K.’s assassination as a starting point,” responses to “a seemingly inexplicable act of public violence.” The demarcations here are not so clear, and it was hard to take the measure of the piece at all on first hearing, since the performance was overwhelmed by strong but distracting visual images from a film commissioned for these performances but not an integral part of the work.

            So I went back to hear Mr. Tao’s piece again on Friday evening, this time with eyes firmly closed, and it proved shapely and powerful, especially in its haunting, accepting if not optimistic coda. At 19, Mr. Tao knows his way around a large orchestra (here including scrap metal as percussion) as well as many an elder master.

            He was helped immeasurably by the Dallas Symphony and Jaap van Zweden, its music director since 2008, who performed superbly in both concerts. So it came as no surprise on Sunday, when the orchestra announced that Mr. van Zweden’s contract had just been extended for three years, to 2019.






16 November 2013

2nd Annual Clarinet Day with The United States Navy Band - Captain Brian O Walden, Commander and Leader, and Senior Chief Musician Laura Grantier, Director

Washington, DC  USA

                   The 2nd Clarinet Day at the United States Navy Band here in the Washington Navy Yard, with celebrated guest Artists and pedagogues Senior VIP Larry Combs (Solo Clarinetist Emeritus in the Chicago Symphony),  Dr Julie DeRoche (Professor at DePaul University and a founding member of the Chicago Clarinet Trio, and Director of the ClarinetFest 94 in collaboration with the International Clarinet Association - ICA), and VIP Eugene Mondie (2nd and Eb Clarinetist in the Washington National Symphony and faculty at Catholic University), gave a day of Master Classes and Mr Mondie together with Chamber colleagues performed the Brahms Trio Op 114.  The classes with Combs/DeRoche were intensive and duo in coaching students who got 2 views and approaches to enhancing their performance and how to achieve their solving of individual issues.   In addition, Mark Jacobi, a Master Clarinet Craftsman/Technician, who worked in his early years with Hans Moennig in Philadelphia, gave a class demonstration on effective maintenance and how to properly care for one's instrument.

                  A major appearance of Clarinet Quartets and Trios from the four Premiere Bands (The US Army Band - Pershing's Own, The President's Own US Marine Band, and the USAF Band, and the US Navy Band) with a diverse and high quality performance was a highlight of the day.  All programs were announced.   Exhibitors displayed their products including Rico, Vandoren, and Buffet.

                   A Participant Clarinet Choir including Band members held a reading session along with a reading and seminar on improvisation conducted by the Commodores Director.

                    Command support of this event was well stated by Commander and Leader Captain Brian O Walden in an introduction at the beginning of the day. Senior Chief Musician Laura Grantier, a member of the US Navy Band Clarinet section as Director, was very effective in the total fruition of the activities.  Credit is due to her and the Band members at the Navy Band and the other branch Clarinetists as well.   It is planned to continue this annual event  each year.








12 - 13 November 2013

2nd Annual Clarinet Spectacular at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with Special Artist Guests and Eddie Daniels, Senior VIP and Jazz/Classic Legend - VIP Dr Caroline Hartig, Director

 Columbus, Ohio USA

             The 2nd year for VIP Dr Caroline Hartig, Professor at The Ohio State University, has turned for a superstar 2nd annual event, having last year Senior VIP Franklin Cohen from The Cleveland Orchestra, and this year Jazz/Classic legend Senior VIP Eddie Daniels, for a clarinet thrilling 2 days of intensive activity including a major Master Class with Eddie Daniels, a Big Band Concert with the the Ohio State Jazz Ensemble, and performance with Dr Hartig just preceding.  The above galleries give an intangible idea of the happenings both days, which included several Clarinet Choir rehearsals and a Finale concert, an Artist Guest Recital with performing Professors from several Ohio University Music Departments, and Exhibition displays so all can try and buy, including Clarinets, Moutpieces, accessories, Sheet Music, and get quick repairs and checks on their instruments by Wolfgang Loeff from the Netherlands along with Lisa's Clarinet Shop.  Vandoren and Rico were also on hand for auditioning their reeds and mouthpieces.

             This Festival, like the previous one last year, proves how important it is to be engaged with these music growth activities and meet new and old friends at the top of the profession.



1 - 11 November 2013

Beijing International Music Competition - China

 Beijing, China


9 November 2013

Performance of Mozart Clarinet Concerto with Modern Period Bassett A Clarinet with VIP Charles Neidich with Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra

Brooklyn Height, New York USA

4 November 2013

Ensemble 54 , VIP David Gould, Director,  performs a film-and theater-inspired program as part of Blessed Unrest's Music Mélange series at the Interart Theatre Annex

New York City USA

St Petersburg, Russia


1 & 3 November 2013

Wright State University - Christopher Grymes Clarinet Master Class and Recital,  VIP John Kurokawa,  Host 

Dayton, Ohio  USA



29 October - 1 November 2013

Latin American Clarinet Congress - Brazil - VIP Marco Antonio Mazzini, Director



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Revised: December 09, 2013