Click over Logo to Home Page

February 2010 Hot News

26 - 27 February 2010

Texas Clarinet Colloquium, Dr Mary Alice Druhan, Director, held at Texas A & M University, Commerce

Commerce, Texas USA

          The 3rd Clarinet Festival with a new name Colloqium, took place with a large 100+ attendance of all levels of players with an International faculty covering from the beginning student to the pre-professional College level.    The day was packed with master class sessions, exhibits from the Music Industry, lecture sessions covering performance and teaching methodology on the auxiliary instruments such as Bass Clarinet, and teaching sessions for Band Directors in the Music Education sector.    As with programs like this, organization focused on covering a broad array of topics that are important for developing players and teachers.   Faculty included Gary Whitman from Texas Christian University, Richard MacDowell from University of Texas at Austin, David Etheridge from University of Oklahoma, Larry Guy from Vassar College in New York, and many others who are listed on the TCC website.  The galleries above attest to the quality of this program organized and brough through by Mary Alice Druhan, Professor of Clarinet at Texas A & M University and a WKA Artist VIP.   This has become an important annual event which should attract players regionally to make sure to attend and benefit especially as it waqs free admission.


16 - 18 February 2010

Ted Lane, principal clarinetist of the National Symphony of Ecuador in Quito visited the Cuanca Symphony in Ecuador and gave a series of Master Classes and lessons to members of the Cuanca Symphony 16 - 18 February, 2010

Cuanca, Equador

         Ted Lane, recently appointed Principal Clarinetist in the Equador Symphony, hosted 3 days of Master Classes involving musicians from the Cuanca Symphony. 'We worked on Orchestral Excerpts, Fundamentals in orchestral playing: Ensemble techniques, Intonation, Articulation, Balance. Effective ways to practice for orchestral auditions and more that would make them more effective players.

         Also we worked with solos using the Smart Music program. Mozart Horn Concerto No. 3., Messenger: Solo de Concours (clarinet) Brahms Sonata in F minor (Clarinet).


13 February 2010

US Premiere of Magnus Lindberg Clarinet Concerto with Kari Kriikku - Soloist with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall

New York City USA

            A major American Concerto Premiere was performed by Finnish Clarinetist Kari Kriikku, relatively unknown in the United States but well known in his home country as a major rising star as soloist, Chamber Music musician, and an active proponent of New Music.  Of interest, he is the first Clarinet soloist from outside the New York Philharmonic since Benny Goodman several decades ago.  Recently retired (after 61 years) Stanley Drucker, a living legend, was the most called for soloist in the Philharmonic's history.  A partial review from the New York Times is below:


Published: February 14, 2010

             In his brilliant Clarinet Concerto, Magnus Lindberg exploits myriad facets of what the instrument can do, from playing soaring melodic lines to making almost rude-sounding noises. He composed the work in 2002 for the remarkable clarinetist Kari Kriikku, who performed its United States premiere with the New York Philharmonic, led by Alan Gilbert, on Saturday evening at Carnegie Hall.

            Mr. Kriikku, a physically flamboyant player of Olympian virtuosity, tackled with aplomb the athletic demands of this rewarding and rigorously constructed single-movement work, whose five sections have allusions to Brahms, Debussy and jazz. Making his debut with the Philharmonic on Saturday, Mr. Kriikku played with a glowing tone and sensual spontaneity in the rhapsodic interludes. He offered a breathtaking cadenza, performing acrobatic feats in the instrument’s highest range.

           While some contemporary composers view the symphony orchestra as archaic, Mr. Lindberg (the Philharmonic’s current composer in residence) has called it “his favorite instrument” and “the perfect typewriter where you have all the keys.” In this concerto he gives the orchestra a workout that results in dense, shimmering soundscapes, whose kaleidoscopic colors were aptly illuminated by Mr. Gilbert.

          The concert offered a welcome chance to hear the orchestra away from the dispiriting confines of Avery Fisher Hall, whose acoustical demons often rob it of tonal bloom. The Philharmonic has sounded in fine form since Mr. Gilbert took the reins as music director last fall, and in the warm space of Carnegie Hall it sounded particularly glowing and vivid.

          Kari Kriikku is recognized as a champion of contemporary music whilst, in equal measure, maintaining his position as an important interpreter of the standard clarinet repertoire. His musical inventiveness and fresh attitude towards traditional performance have established for him a fascinating and versatile career.

          Many of his native composers have written for him, including Magnus Lindberg, whose Clarinet Concerto (2002) has been given over forty performances by Kriikku - including a sell-out performance at the BBC Proms with the BBC Symphony with Semyon Bychkov.

          The 2008/09 season highlights include Radio Symphony Orchestra of the WDR Cologne with Semyon Bychkov, and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic with Sakari Oramo. In August 2008 Kari Kriikku performed at New York´s Mostly Mozart Festival with the Festival Orchestra under the direction of Osmo Vänskä.

          Kari Kriikku´s impressive discography for Ondine includes his recording of Lindberg´s Clarinet concerto, which received five-star reviews and many awards. His disc of works for clarinet by Kimmo Hakola was awarded the prestigious Finnish Janne Prize and his recording of the complete Weber concertos (Ondine, 1997) is widely considered as definitive.

         “Kari Kriikku played with such sublime deftness - and at the very limit of what was playable and audible - that 5,000 people let out a collective gasp…" (The Times, London)

Riverside Symphony George Rothman conducting his ensemble in a Busoni Concertino, with Alan R. Kay on clarinet, at Alice Tully Hall.

13 February 2010

Alan R Kay Soloist in Performance of Busoni Clarinet Concerto with Riverside Symphony (New York) at Alice Tully Hall

Published: February 14, 2010

            For many classical musicians, you presume, programming works by Mozart comes as naturally as breathing and requires about as much conscious thought. By no means is this meant to slight Mozart, whose greatest works are unassailable and as vital to healthy living as, well, oxygen. But encountering concerts in which Mozart’s music is investigated within an enlightening context happens less frequently than you might think.

            The Riverside Symphony, founded in 1981 by the conductor George Rothman and the composer Anthony Korf, delights in context — one reason among many for the attractiveness of the group’s offerings. On Friday night in Alice Tully Hall the orchestra preceded an account of Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony No. 36 in C (K. 425) with a work by a proto-classical forebear, Franz Xaver Richter, and neo-Classical works by two later composers.

            Richter’s representation pointed to the Mannheim School, a group of composers in 18th-century Germany who established the stylistic principles that ushered in music’s Classical era. His Symphony No. 63 in B flat, from 1740, bears strong traces of Baroque-era practice in its proportions and harmonies. The music sounds less groundbreaking than congenial; the symphony’s effervescent account made it something to savor.

            Works by Busoni and the contemporary American composer Hayes Biggs presented divergent visions of neo-Classicism. In Europe the style could carry strong associations of nostalgia, even loss: think of Strauss’s wistful 1945 Oboe Concerto. Busoni’s gracious Concertino for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra, from 1918, strikes a similar stance, though its four concentrated movements touch on a greater variety of styles. Alan R. Kay, the orchestra’s principal clarinetist, played with infectious enthusiasm and panache.

           In America the sharp lines, clean textures and assertive rhythms of neo-Classicism allude more strongly to the construction of a still-young country and a native idiom. Mr. Biggs’s “Symphonia Brevis,” a Riverside Symphony commission heard in its premiere, was built from strong materials: an obsessive timpani tattoo that repeatedly takes over the ensemble, eloquent solo and duo passages, and deftly produced timbres. But the performance lacked the technical assurance and polish required to give an initial outing the ring of authority.

          After the intermission Mr. Rothman conducted Mozart’s “Linz” Symphony in an account that sounded both scrupulously considered and utterly fresh. The symphony, one of Mozart’s mature masterworks, needs no special pleading, but here a thoughtful context and vivacious playing made it sound especially commanding.


4 - 5 February 2010

Master Classes and Performance with Fred Ormand (Professor Emeritus from University of Michigan) at Milano Conservatory - Luigi Magistrelli, Professor and Host

Milano, Italy

         A major Guest Master Class and concert was given by renowned Emeritus Clarinet Professor Dr Fred Ormand from the University of Michigan together with his wife, noted Soprano Julia Broxhlam with Pianist Monica Cattarossi at this great Conservatory and hosted by Professor Luigi Magistrelli. The two days covered in Master Classes the major works for Voice, Clarinet and Piano including Schubert's Shepard on the Rock, Spohr's 6 German Songs, Mozart's Parto Parto, and many more.    The above program shows the concert recital including a major work by Ned Rorem Ariel.  Both Dr Ormand and Professor Magistrelli are WKA Artist VIP Officers.  Information about Dr Ormand is below:

         Fred Ormand, acclaimed as a leading clarinet pedagogue, also has been very active in the areas of performance and research. He played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has performed as an extra clarinetist with the Cleveland and Detroit Symphony Orchestras as well as numerous regional orchestras. Solo engagements have included orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Recent music festival performances have been at Chamber Music Northwest and the Music Academy of the West. Twenty-two summers were spent at Grand Teton Music Festival and there have been numerous performances at International Clarinet Fests.

        Dr. Ormand began his clarinet studies with Robert C. Davidson, director of bands in Plainview, Texas. Davidson had been a student of Joseph Schreurs, principal clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During these years he was first chair clarinetist in the Texas All-State Band for three consecutive years. He attended the University of Michigan where he studied with Albert Luconi, while earning his B.M. degree. Graduate study for a masters in woodwinds was with Keith Stein at Michigan State University. In 1963-4 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal College of Music in London. While there he studied clarinet with Bernard Walton, principal clarinetist of the Philharmonia Orchestra and chamber music with Cecil Aronowitz. His final formal studies were with Robert Marcellus, principal clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra.

      Dr. Ormand retired from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in 2007, a position he has held since 1984. He was honored with the Harold Haugh Award for his outstanding work as a teacher of applied music. In 2002 he was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award of the School of Music and in 2007, in recognition of his service, he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the University of Michigan Band Alumni Association, an award presented only twice before. He has taught at several leading American Universities and in 1989 was visiting professor at the Shanghai Conservatory, where he attracted students from across China. In 1995 he gave an acclaimed series of master classes in England, Denmark, and Sweden. His former students have won positions in the Boston Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Royal Danish Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the Honolulu Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, the U. S. Army Field Band, the U.S. Army Band, and the United States Marine Band. Major universities have sought his students as teachers for their woodwind programs.

     In addition to teaching and performing, Mr. Ormand served as president of the International Clarinet Association from 1990 to 1992. A major research project of the last ten years has been the preparation of editions of the clarinet music of Amilcare Ponchielli. Recordings of these editions are available from Danacord Records, and are now receiving many performances by leading clarinetists. In 2001 he was invited by the city of Cremona, Italy, to participate in a symposium honoring the composer. His book The Single Reed Adjustment Manual is now used in leading universities and conservatories.

      Dr. Ormand has recorded for Equilibrium, Crystal, and Danacord Records.


Copyright © 1999 All rights reserved.
Revised: June 24, 2010