Hot News January 2007


28 January 2007

Clarinet Convention - Leslie Craven, Director

United Kingdom


    I am sure that clarinetists everywhere will want to hear about the Clarinet Convention held in the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) in Cardiff on the 28th of January. The convention offered many classes and opportunities so this is my experience of an excellent day.

   Participants and contributors came from all over the UK for the annual event. Upon our arrival the group received a welcome talk from the course leader Leslie Craven, teacher at RWCMD and author of the most excellent “Instant Help for Playing and Teaching the Clarinet”, which every clarinetist should possess. He introduced the team of experts which included Andrew Roberts, an established clarinetist and teacher; Eddie Ashton from Woodwind & Co; Peter Fielding, a tutor here at the RWCMD; Alistair Logan, inventor of the aural training and sight-reading software ‘Music@site’; Ian Mitchell, head of Wind, Brass and Percussion at Trinity College of Music and Rachel Atwell, who is the staff accompanist here at the RWCMD. There were many classes to choose from in the first period, and mine was a master class with Andrew Roberts. In this class everyone from beginners to advanced players was offered a chance to play for the group and receive invaluable advice and suggestions for improvement. Andrew highlighted various aspects, such as posture, which I personally found very helpful.

   During the break there was an opportunity to visit the trade stands. John Packer Woodwind and Brass specialists displayed a large range of different makes of clarinet including LeBlanc, Buffet and Yamaha. There were also Bb, Eb and bass clarinets which people could sample and trial for the day, or just have a go on. Eddie Ashton of Woodwind and Co. is the inventor of ‘super-pads’ which provide a superior and noiseless seal. At the Convention he was able to assess clarinets for air leakage and other problems. This convinced me to have my clarinet fixed by Eddie a.s.a.p. I also upgraded my ligature to a Vandoren Optimum from the Vandoren/Rosetti stall. Various makes of reeds were available for sampling. I purchased the challenging ‘fantasy Pieces for Clarinet’ by Derek Bourgeois from the Providence Music stall, which was selling a huge range of sheet music and CDs.

   Next, I attended a troubleshooting class about the embouchure with Andrew Roberts and it was nice to see so many keen youngsters benefiting from Andrew’s precise and constructive guidance. During this time there were many other classes to attend; a routine maintenance and emergency repair class by Eddie Ashton, a chance to play with accompanist Rachel Atwell and a clarinet choir rehearsal for the evening concert.

   During the lunch hour there was time to meet and talk to fellow clarinetists and visit the trade stands again.

   We were all treated to an afternoon concert by Spanish clarinetist and soloist Maximiliano Martin, who is principal clarinetist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. His playing was so passionate and energetic, the packed auditorium felt completely immersed in the music. His performance was inspiring and I was lucky to be one of the participants involved in the master class with him afterwards. He demonstrated awareness of how to perform to an audience, together with breathing correctly, relaxing whilst playing and the projection of sound.

   The day was completed with a concert by the clarinet choir that had been rehearsing during the day. This was the most enjoyable end to a fantastic day. I’m sure like me, everyone returned home with a unique experience of the day and having benefited from the professional and friendly encouragement and inspiration from all the tutors.

 Written by: Phoebe James,15, from West Wales.

Les, Andy and Sharon

Les, Andy and Sharon

Les, barrels and bells

Les, barrels and bells

Will Watson of Vincent Bach International

Will Watson of Vincent Bach International, a valued sponsor

Clarinet Quartet

Clarinet Quartet play Wakefield's "from River to Stream to Sea" - Andy Roberts, Tom Jackson, Alistair Logan, Peter Fielding

Andy giving a master class

Andy giving a master class

Eddie Ashton demonstrates maintenance and repairs

Eddie Ashton demonstrates maintenance and repairs

The incredibly kind Kerry Long of Vandoren/Rosetti

The incredibly kind Kerry Long of Vandoren/Rosetti

Leslie gives a lecture

"I swear it was this big" - Leslie gives a lecture / DVD presentation on reed manufacturing and adjusting/ balancing with lots of free samples donated by MARCA reeds

"Battery of Basses"  - from the Peninsula choir

"Battery of Basses" - from the Peninsula choir

Contra-bass clarinet

"I bid a Contra" - the distinctive profile of the Contra Bass clarinet

Alistair Logan demonstrates Music@Site

Alistair Logan demonstrates Music@Site

Peter in action with the Convention choir

Peter in action with the Convention choir

John Packer LTD display

John Packer LTD display

Music lesson

"That there's music that is !"

John Packer LTD banner

John Packer LTD banner


Recital cover

Langley Recital

DiLutis biographies

Robert DiLutis, SrA Boehmer, Patti DiLutis

Band History mural in Lobby

Reed Making Class with Robert DiLutis

Soloist Robert DiLutis

Poulenc Sonata 2 Clarinets

Pianist and DiLutis bow

Patti DiLutis, Mike Getzin, and Robert DiLutis

24 January 2007

Buffet Clarinet Clinic with USAF Heritage of America Band - Langley Air Force Base, Virginia USA - 23 - 24 January 2007

Langley Air Force Base, Virginia USA

          The USAF Heritage of America Band with Clarinet Clinic organizer SrA Jeffrey Boehmer, a Clarinetist in this Band, organized with Buffet-Crampon a major Clinic which attracted over 40 students, teachers, and interested people who witnessed over the four intensive hours of recitals, master classes, a reed making seminar, and instrument tryouts of Buffet Clarinets.  Robert and Patti DiLutis, both super accomplished Clarinetists and parallel players, playing 2nd/ Eb Clarinet in the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonics, performed a recital program together covering standard literature (posted in the above galleries), Mr Dilutis gave a detailed class on Reed making pointing out the details from the reed tubes to the finished products, and demonstrating all the steps to achieve the goals.   The difference between manufactured reeds and how they are made compared to all the from scratch steps one would tackle was convincing.   DiLutis has been a proponent of this making of reeds with his machines he has available and his books about the practice.

           Patti DiLutis gave a master class with 3 students, the first of whom only played the clarinet for 8 months, and it was apparent that he was a natural based on the solid breath support, and strong tone, of which was pointed out and more points covered such as using the breath in conjunction with the tongue position, all skillfully taught and was apparent  by the student who picked up everything quickly.  The impression made to him was inspiring in itself as he knew he was dealing with a great mentor and it is anticipated that his advancement will be rapid with the right ingredients.    Another student was coached on the Mozart Clarinet Concerto 2nd movement and given ideas about support and tone and how to make the piece easier to play.   A solo member of the Band was coached about the technical demands of a Clarinet Solo piece from John Williams' score of the film 'The Terminal', which has become a Clarinet favorite after being heard from deceased Clarinetist Emily Bernstein, who was credited by Steven Spielberg on the film credits.  An arrangement has been made for both Band and Clarinet Choir which will increase performance of this piece. The technical demands were analyzed and covered carefully covering breath, finger plotting and reducing the over-attention about the demands and maybe make the piece easier to perform.   Patti DiLutis covered a spread of players from beginner to the advanced professional.  Many of the covered points applied to all 3 students coached.

 Exhibits and social fun and showing of instruments

        During the first hour of this Clinic, everyone was viewing and trying out Clarinets, mouthpieces, tuning barrels, especially David Weber barrels, Robert DiLutis performed repairs and modifications for those in need of an instrument check, and Patti DiLutis assisted players interested in trying out new clarinets. 

          Although this was a short clinic taking four hours, it was effective, and credit is due for the support given by the Band Command and SrA Jeffrey Boehmer who single-handedly arranged the logistical arrangement along with sponsor Buffet-Crampon who underwrote the appearance of the DiLutis's for this event.   

Clarinet Soloist Algirdas Budrys

Budrys and Conductor Janis Purins

RIGA Wind Orchestra with Soloist Budrys

6 January 2007

MUSIC AT EPIPHANY Concert with the Professional Wind Orchestra RĪGA at the St. Jakob`s Cathedral in Riga, with Conductor Janis Purins  and Clarinet Soloist Algirdas Budrys  (Lithuania)

 RIGA, Latvia

            A special concert was held in this famous Cathedral in RIGA, Latvia by the above professional ensemble under conductor Janis Purins and featured Clarinet Soloist from Lithuania Algirdas Budrys, who performed the 2nd movement of the Weber Clarinet Quintet with Band and the Wagner (Baermann) Adagio for Clarinet and Strings.  Program included the following repertoire:   

Johann Sebastian Bach -   Choral Prelude Herzlich tut mich Verlangen

Georgs Pelecis  -  New Year Poem for band

Peteris Butans -   Choral for band

Carl Maria Weber, arr. for band by Kazys Daygelis - Phantasy for clarinet and string quartet, II mvnt,

                             Soloist Algirdas Budrys (Lithuania)

 Richards Dubra  -  O Crux Ave

Performed by Chamber choir Muklajs

Conductor Lauris Goss

John Tavener The Lamb

Knut Nystedt  -  Peace, I leave with You

Peteris Butans  -  Lux Aeterna

Alfred Reed  -  Russian Christmas Music

John Brakstad  -  Variation for band

Richard Wagner  -  Adagio for clarinet, arr. for band By Kazis Daygelis

                             Soloist Algirdas Budrys (Lithuania)

Richard Wagner  -  Elsa’s procession to Cathedral from Loengrin

          Algirdas Budrys, clarinetist Special guest of the concert is head of Wind department of Lithuania Music Academy, professor, and one of the most popular performers in Lithuania.  A. Budrys has been invited to all the former republics of the Soviet Union, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Egypt, Canada, USA, Italy , Switzerland, Norway both as soloist and clarinet teacher at masterclasses. He has made recordings of more than 100 most popular compositions of clarinet repertoire.

Mozart Clarinet Concerto in Italy

Brahms Clarinet Quintet with Leipziger Quartet in Florida

Mike Getzin and Karl Leister in Florida

Brahms Quintet rehearsal in New Orleans

Holiday Inn in New Orleans

Colleague and Leister passing Hotel

Karl Leister and Ricardo Morales

Jesting with John Bruce Yeh, Karl Leister, and Bernd Wurlitzer

1 January 2007

Karl Leister, Celebrated Solo Clarinetist in the Berlin Philharmonic, commemorates his 50th year Anniversary of the beginning of his Professional Career with his first position starting 1 January 1957.

         On this 1st of this year, Karl Leister, the legendary Solo Clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic and one of the world's most distinguished soloists and Chamber artists, is commemorated this milestone anniversary and congratulatedly recognized for this career achievement.  During the 60's and later, especially in the United States, Robert Marcellus of the Cleveland Orchestra and others connected to the Bonade School of playing were the standard of clarinetistry for the tonal and Orchestral musical style, and referred even to this day.   During this same time, the Berlin Philharmonic became in recordings very popular when Karl Leister was Solo Clarinetist and the major literature showed his mark with that German tone everyone wanted to emulate and a new approach in the Art of Clarinet playing.  His Solo recordings of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, and his Chamber recordings, especially the Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets are considered the state of the art.   Meastro Leister credits Herbert von Karajan as the major influence on his tonal concept and musical ideas.  Of interest, during this same time, Herbert Wurlitzer became noticed in the USA as the German Clarinet of choice, as the sound Leister and others achieved were by virtue of these incredible hand-made instruments.  The Reform Boehm Clarinets are a cross between the Oehler (German system) that Leister plays, and the French Boehm system that everyone else plays. 

         Mr Leister still is very active performing worldwide, in Europe in Germany, Italy, and in Asia in Japan and Korea. He has been an active soloist, chamber musician and Master Class teacher in the United States, notably a 6 campus tour in 2005.  He is considered a legend and one to look up to as a Clarinet role model in pursual of one's education as a player.

KARL LEISTER was born in Wilhelmshaven. His first lessons he got from his father, who was as a clarinet-player member of the RIAS-Symphonic Orchestra. Between 1953-1956 he studied at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin and in 1957, at the age of 19, was already solo clarinet-player at the Komische Oper Berlin under Vaclav Neumann and Walter Felenstein.

In 1959, Karl Leister began his work as solo clarinet-player at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Herbert von Karajan. The thirty years of working together with Karajan was the most important and characterizing time for Karl Leister. At the same time his international career as a soloist and chamber musician began. His chamber music partners were moreover the Amadeus Quartet, Vogler Quartet, Wilhelm Kempf, Pierre Fournier, Gidon Kramer, Rita Streich, Kathleen Battle, as well as pianists James Levine, Ricardo Muti, Gerhard Oppitz, Christoph Eschenbach, Bruno Camino, Elena Bashkirova, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Paul Gulda, Stefan Vladar, and Forenc Bognar. Furthermore, he played as soloist under the direction of Herbert von Karajan, Karl Bohm, Seiji Ozawa, Eugen Jochum, Raphael Kubelik, Aaron Copland, Sir Neville Marriner, Paavo Berglund, and Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos. Karl Leister is one of the founders of the ensemble "Blaser der Berliner Philharmoniker", Berlin Soloists as well as the Ensemble Wien-Berlin.

Since the foundation of the Herbert von Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Karl Leister has been teaching the young generation. Today many of his former students work in important positions of German or international orchestras. Simultaneously Karl Leister is requested at international festivals and master classes.

Karl Leister obtained numerous awards and distinctions at national and international music competitions. Beyond that he recorded nearly all competitions of the clarinet literature on the following labels: DGG, EMI, Philips, Teldec/Warner, Orfeo, Deutsche Grammophon, BIS, Nimbus, Sony, Camerata Tokyo.

1987 he began honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music London. Between 1993 and 2002 Karl Leister was professor at the Hochschule fur Musik Berlin "Hanns Eisler".




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Revised: October 13, 2007