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August 2011 Hot News

28 August 2011

Carl Maria von Weber - 2nd Clarinet Concerto, Op 74 - Franklin Cohen, Soloist - Blossom Music Festival with The Cleveland Orchestra

Cleveland, Ohio USA

            A momentous performance of Carl Maria von Weber's 2nd Clarinet Concerto Op 74 took place at this world-class Summer Festival with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Assistant Conductor James Feddeck with Star Clarinet soloist Franklin Cohen, who has become an icon legend with this Orchestra having performed over 200 times during his 35 year tenure, having recorded many times and become Grammy nominated for the Debussy Rhapsody DGG recording with Pierre Boulez.  The effortless technical communication witnessed here is spellbounding and Mr Cohen certainly ranks as one of the most potent soloists anywhere, and the total communication especially the creative play with the nuances and embellishments in the cadenzas in the two first movements is noteworthy.   Many soloists performing a showpiece of this Weber operatic style and power miss that element.

          The galleries above give a glimpse of the evening and programs with biographies of both Mr Cohen and the great conductor James Feddeck.

          Mr Cohen is very active with his Teaching at the Cleveland Institute and numerous chamber music activities and recordings, all of which are posted on his special WKA Artist VIP Page of which he is a Senior VIP.  

3 – 7 August 2011

ClarinetFest 2011 held at California State University at Northridge in collaboration with the International Clarinet Association -  Julia Heinen and William E Powell, Directors

Northridge, California USA

        The annual ClarinetFest in collaboration with the International Clarinet Association and hosts California State University in Northridge, just North of Los Angeles, and Directed by Professors Julia Heinen and William E Powell, was a major Program and Artistic success, drawing from many points of reference including major Performing Organizations performing during the week and a major concert at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.   The galleried programs, all of which were posted online so participants could see in advance the schedule and programs, show the diversity of arrays offered here this year.  Like many past ClarinetFests, programs and master classes, seminars, Competitions (including High School Solo, College Solo, and Orchestral Audition), and Academic presentations were concurrent and many held simultaneously which made it necessary to choose where you were going, which made things difficult and one doesn’t want to miss important events of interest to them.  If one had to summarize everything that happened here, you may have to write a book about it as so much happened here.  Photo galleries of several key events are posted to get a glimpse of the general picture. As can be imagined, it was impossible to attend all the events.

Appalachian Spring with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl

Appalachian Spring Image

Nielsen: Maskarade Overture


Lindberg: Clarinet Concerto


Copland: Clarinet Concerto


Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite



              What makes a Showcase Festival like this meaningful is not just the events and exhibitions, but the people to meet and reunite with as many come as often as they can to meet.  Making important professional and Academic contacts is very important and the world comes here to make things happen.   Meeting the world-class professionals in an informal environment such as in the hall, at the exhibition stands, and at concerts and even at the lunch breaks is very helpful.  Social events peripheral with the Festival made matters even more meaningful and interesting.

        Industry exhibits covered two large rooms at the University Fitness Center and had over 100 firms representing the entire instrument industry with products to try, buy, and also publishers, software music firms, accessories as reeds, mouthpieces, all of which come each year with new things to show.

Eric Mandat, Acclaimed New Music proponent in Performance with Bass Clarinet Quartet

Mark Nuccio (New York Philharmonic) in Clarinet Quartet Performance, and the New Zealand Quartet in New Music

Matthias Mueller Chamber Clarinet Ensemble performing his Music

Rico Bass Clarinet Blowout with the best Bass Clarinetists Worldwide

Chad Burrow and Caroline Hartig in Recital

   Kathleen Jones (Puerto Rico Symphony) in Clarinet Quintet Performance of Latin Music

         Nathan Williams in tribute performance for his teacher Stanley Hasty, and Gary Gray in Clarinet Quintet Performance

Robert Spring and Eddy Vanoosthuyse with String Quartet, and Margaret Thornhill in Chamber Music Performance

Eddie Daniels, Ricardo Morales and friends in Fun and Performance

           A number of concerts held honored those who passed away the past year including David Etheridge from Oklahoma, Kalmon Bloch from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, David Breeden from Texas at University of North Texas, and Stanley Hasty, honored with a performance by Nathan Williams the same day as his Memorial Service in Rochester, New York.

Concerto Orchestra concert with Star soloists

 Festival College Clarinet Choir with Stanley and Naomi Drucker, Soloists, under Mitchell Estrin, and the Festival Mass Clarinet Choir with Ricardo Morales, Soloist under Raphael Sanders

         Events of this magnitude in logistical preparation take incredible motivation and devotion and concern about the risk in making all work well, and credit is due to the Directors Julia Heinen and William Powell, and their volunteers who held this week together.  When over 1000 participants, artists, several performing organizations interact like a near out of control counterpoint, the show prevailed.  Assistance from the ICA cannot be thanked enough for their support.   Next year’s ClarinetFest will take place 1 – 5 August 2012 at the University of Nebraska, Diane Barger and Denise Gainey, Directors.  

29 July - 1 August 2011

Clarinet Summer School at Hope University - Andrew Roberts, Director

Liverpool, United Kingdom

              Liverpool Hope University’s Hope Park campus was the venue for The Clarinet Summer School 2011, this was where the very first course took place. Like all of the Liverpool Hope University’s facilities, Hope Park has been updated and offers a fabulous new restaurant style canteen and shop. The en suite accommodation will be in the self-catering section, five rooms are grouped together with a communal area and small kitchen for each flat. You will be able to use your rooms to practice in until 9pm and the communal areas are ideal for small groups to rehearse.

             The approach focuses on encouragement through new ideas and we look forward to welcoming both new and past students to this beautiful area of Liverpool for a fascinating way to improve your clarinet playing and enjoyment of music.

             A minimum standard of Grade 7 was advised and students should be able to play some movements from the repertoire list (as specified in the schedule) for the course to a reasonable standard. As the purpose of the course is to help you improve, the pieces need not be of performance standard or we would be left with little to do for you!

           The proposed tutors on this year course included Andrew Roberts (Course Director), Francesco Paolo Scola, the new Principal Clarinet of the Ulster Orchestra, Caroline Smith (accompanist), Wolfgang Lohff (instrument specialist) and Peter Glenville, who will conduct the clarinet ensemble.

          Francesco Paolo Scola, known to all as Chicco (pronounced Cicco) became Principal Clarinet of the Ulster Orchestra last year, moving from Rome Opera where he was Principal Clarinet at a very young age! With a very warm personality and his amazing facility, you can have an entirely different view on you approach to learning to play musically on your clarinet. This is an ideal opportunity for any teacher to have a “refresher “course to inspire them on to help their own students to achieve higher standards.

Wolfgang Lohff         Caroline Smith made a welcome return with her experience as a voice coach and a very experienced accompanist, she will help bring the best out of your performance. You can work together to discover the vital role communication plays in music.

         Wolfgang Lohff has been an integral part of this course for many years, and is recognised as one of the foremost wind instrument specialists. He has worked as a consultant for Buffet and other instrument manufacturers. He runs a highly successful woodwind repair business in Denmark with his partner, Birgit Pfeiffer, supplying instruments to many of the top professional players around the world.

What a brilliant Summer School – I’ve learnt loads and come home inspired and determined to practice really hard and, hopefully, return next year!” 
Adrian Place on Facebook August 2011.
Well what more can I say except - RESULT!
In our 14th year, The Clarinet Summer School enjoyed a return to its origins in Liverpool Hope University’s Hope Park Campus. Things have changed a bit since 1997, all for the better. Everyone attending the course enjoyed great surrounding and great food, and most importantly, great friendship from all, students and tutors alike.
We all felt comfortable enough to get down to some serious work and pleasure in playing the clarinet, and finding many ways to improve.
Thanks go to all the staff at Hope who were friendly and helpful, my personal thanks to Gemma Ellis, for all her help in setting up the arrangements for the course which all ran smoothly. We were also grateful to CASS for their financial support.
It was great to have Wolfgang Lohff on hand for his advice and practical help, and a huge thank you to Francesco Paolo (Chicco) Scola for his amazing enthusiasm and wonderful playing which inspired all who heard him. The final thanks go to the students on this year’s course who made our job easy and enjoyable.
Do check out the Facebook page, The Clarinet Summer School 2011, to see some more of the pictures from the course.
We are already planning next year’s course so keep checking this site for details and book early to avoid disappointment!


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Revised: September 07, 2011