Hot News March 2006

Solo Clarinetist Robert Turizziani and Conductor Gary Cooper

West Virginia Symphony brochure

Concerto Soloist Turizziani

Cooper and Turizziani biographies

Beckley Symphony Program

26 March 2006

 West Virginia Symphony Mozart Clarinet Concerto Performance with Solo Clarinetist Robert Turizziani on Tour

 Beckley, West Virginia USA

          With the 250th Birth anniversary of W. A. Mozart in full swing with numerous performances worldwide of his works,

this fine Orchestra from Charleston, West Virginia, on tour throughout the state performed a ‘Classical Elegance’ series

of concerts exploring the repertoire of Classic and Romantic music.   Gary Cooper, Music Director, explained many ideas

in regard to this with the audience with a program of standard works of these 2 periods.    Program and biographies above

in the galleries.  Notable was a solid performance of the Clarinet Concerto K 622 performed by the Orchestra’s Solo

Clarinetist Robert Turizziani to masterful acclaim covering the work with ease and classic interpretation with imaginative

freedom and embellishment.   Classical tradition was well served in this performance.

       The performance was held in the Woodrow Wilson Auditorium in the small city of Beckley, an excellent concert site

for all musical venues of 1200 seats. 


25 March 2006

5th Annual Texas Tech University Clarinet Festival

Lubbock, Texas USA

A Report by Virginia Hartsook and Rahni Kennedy

 Texas Tech University School of Music presented the 5th Annual Clarinet Festival on March 25, 2006 to college and pre-college clarinetists.  Featured clarinet artists included: Greg Raden, Principal Clarinet of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Michael Lowenstern, bass clarinet artist and composer, New York; Lori Ardovino, Professor of Music and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Montevallo-Alabama; Michael Dean, Associate professor of Clarinet and Saxophone at Southeast Missouri State University; and David Shea, Associate Professor of Clarinet at Texas Tech University (TTU) and host of the annual TTU Clarinet Festival.  The festival featured a number of diverse recitals performed by the guest artists with collaborating pianists Regina Shea and Susan Wass. In addition, a number of lectures and master classes were presented that benefited participants of all ages.

The college symposium began Friday, March 24 with a master class presented by Greg Raden.  Standard excerpts, such as Stravinsky’s Firebird, Beethoven’s Sixth and Eighth symphonies, Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov, Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta, and Weber’s Concerto in f minor were performed by TTU students in the class.  Raden provided detailed suggestions on nuance and execution, based on his own professional experiences and from studying with Donald Montanaro at the Curtis Institute of Music.  His insights had a significant affect on the students’ performances and the audience was able to benefit greatly from what was discussed.

Saturday’s events included recitals and master classes for college students, and clinics and clarinet choir rehearsals for pre-college students.  The opening host recital given by David Shea included a lyrical performance of Cahuzac’s Pastorale Cévenole and a lively performance of Horovitz’s Sonatina for clarinet and piano.  Dr. Michael Dean followed with a recital, performing the “Allegro moderato” of Sonata for clarinet and piano by Alec Wilder, Josep M. Ruera’s Meditació for clarinet and piano, a wonderful transcription of Don Ellis’ jazz influenced piece Sonata for Clarinet Alone (Don Erjavec), and closed with a fun work for clarinet and tape by Phillip Bimstein entitled Half Moon at Checkerboard Mesa. Dean provided a wonderful and very engaging performance of these 20th century works.

 The next event of the morning was a master class given by Michael Lowenstern. Lowenstern brought his unique energy and perspectives that resulted in a very lively and entertaining master class.  The class began with a bass clarinet performance of Bozza’s Aria.  Lowenstern provided some instrument specific tips on fundamentals as applied the piece.  The second performance was the final movement of Muczynski’s Time Pieces performed on the Bb clarinet. Lowenstern focused on performance related issues such as energy, body motion and mental approaches.  This information had a significant impact on the student and her performance.

The morning session ended with “From the Heart of Dixie,” a program of clarinet music by Alabama composers, performed masterfully by Lori Ardovino.  An active composer, Dr. Ardovino opened with her own three movement composition, Diversions for Solo Clarinet, followed by Dorothy Hindman’s Soliloquy for Clarinet, and Edwin Robertson’s Intersection.  These short pieces for solo clarinet and clarinet and piano were created as part of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance and were intended to be accessible 20th century works for younger audiences.  Ardovino performed these pieces beautifully and really communicated these new pieces effectively to the audience.

            After a brief lunch break, Michael Dean presented “Preparation & Effort: The Concepts of Coach John Wooden Applied to Music Instruction and Performing.”  Considered by some to be an educational visionary, the philosophy of John Wooden has many practical applications for music educators and performers, as was discussed by Dr. Dean.  Instructed to ‘spend time working on what is under one’s control: preparation and effort,’ participants heard tips and perspectives, as well as cohesive quotes found in sources by and about John Wooden. 

The afternoon continued with recitals by the featured guest artists.  Bass clarinet recording artist Michael Lowenstern performed self-composed selections from his existing CD’s and new compositions.  In an absolutely amazing performance, his program included Sha, But Would She Remember You?, Drift, Hum, Ten Children, and Spasm.  With the use of an elaborate electronics set-up, Lowenstern gave a wild and captivating performance.  His unique voice and New York style had the audience buzzing about his recital all afternoon. 

The second feature recital was given by principal clarinetist of the Dallas Symphony, Greg Raden.  Raden gave a flawless performance of Finzi’s Five Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano, Delmas’ Fantasie Italienne, the Osborne Rhapsody, and concluded with the Poulenc Sonata for Clarinet and Piano.  Raden delighted the audience with his remarkable artistry and musicianship.  The playing was elegant and reflected his talents not only as a recitalist, but also as an orchestral musician.

            Beginning, intermediate, and advanced pre-college clarinetists were engaged in clinics and rehearsals throughout the day given by Sandra Mostellar of Wayland Baptist University Virginia Hartsook, Rahni Kennedy and Joshua Kurzweill.  These students also were able to enjoy the afternoon feature recitals as well.  At the end of the day, a performance by the festival clarinet choir, comprised of the festival participants and the TTU clarinet studio concluded the festival.

            By the enthusiasm and excitement of those attending, this year’s festival was another successful event.  Participants of all ages left the festival feeling inspired and having learned a great deal.  Dr. David Shea and the TTU Clarinet Studio would like to thank all the sponsors, artists, and clinicians who made this exciting weekend possible.


Karl Leister

Leister in recital

Karl Leister on Mozart

Leister performing

Performance Karl Leister

20 - 22 March 2006

Karl Leister Master Class at the Milano Conservatory

Milano, Italy

        Milano, like a number of other major European cities, is host to a tour of Clarinet Master Classes held by legend Karl

Leister, this one hosted by Professor Luigi Magistrelli.  Both Magistrelli and Leister have recorded  Mozart works for Clarinets

and Basset Horns as released on the label Camerata from Japan.  In 2005, Karl Leister undertook a 6 Campus tour in the USA

bringing with him an incredible wealth of performance concepts and experiences from his tenure at the Berlin Philharmonic under

Herbert von Karajan.  Many past recordings, especially of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, the Mozart and Brahms Clarinet

Quintets, are the absolute state of the performance of those works. To participate in a Class with him is considered a high honor

for a student.  These 3 days involved teaching  to various wind groups or groups with piano or strings including clarinet. Some

important pieces, such as the Mozart Trio K 498, Mozart Serenade K 388, Brahms Quintet op 115, Mozart Divertimentos K 439,

etc...have been performed by advanced students, in front of Leister, who gave them precious musical and technical advice. Mr

Leister is in demand constantly worldwide, and has performed premieres in Germany and Japan.  It is hoped that it will be possible

to engage Leister in the USA again.

Eisenhower Hall at West Point

Inside Concert Hall before Concert


USMA display

Inside Eisenhower Hall

18 March 2006

 West Point Clarinet Summit with the United States Military Academy Band

 West Point, New York USA

         Probably 2 of the most impressionable days this year, encompassing an intensive array of continuous sessions

of master classes, lectures, chamber and solo recitals, and a major finale concert with 4 soloists, including 2 distinguished

alumni, Larry Combs from the Chicago Symphony (in the USMA Band from 62-65), and Stephen Girko from the Austin

Symphony (in the Band from 67-70), a competition winner and SFC John Parrette, who all performed the finale with the

Band in the spectacular Eisenhower Theatre, an auditorium of 4500 seats for the West Point Corps of Cadets.    More

information below as this major symposium unfolds.

James Pyne Mouthpiece lecture on acoustics

Mouthpiece acoustics

Spectral overtone analysis

Mouthpiece analyses

            The first day opened with an open rehearsal with soloists for the Saturday program followed by an extensive

Mouthpiece discussion with James Pyne, a noted designer, and former Solo Clarinetist in the Buffalo Philharmonic and

Professor of Clarinet at Ohio State University. Spectrum tonal analyses with computer graphic demonstrations and

discussion of all aspects of mouthpiece design and their effects on tone and overtone series were shown with questions

covered about all this scientific content.  Discussion about reeds and how they vibrate to produce a tone and how face

openings affect this vibration well covered.  Many great past players such as Robert Marcellus (Cleveland Orchestra)

and Harold Wright (Boston Symphony) who were and still are icon role models for all players had mouthpieces with certain

characteristics such as asymmetrical openings. Many players are unaware of these factors when getting a mouthpiece. 

The entire session was non-stop in interest about these items. Mr Pyne is one of the finest mouthpiece makers in the USA.

Academy Clarinet Quartet

Academy Quartet members

West Point Clarinet Quartet and soloist

West Point Quartet

West Point Clarinet Choir

Clarinet Choir

Choir bow

In concert

          Two Clarinet Quartets of members of the Band performed consistent programs, the Academy

Clarinet Quartet and the West Point Clarinet Quartet.  Both conduct tours and educational workshops

covering ensemble playing for young students and also play chamber music for events at West Point. 

The Academy Quartet played the Bartok 2nd Quartet Op 17, arranged by SSG Sam Kaestner, and Beethoven’s

Quartet #1 in F, arranged by SFC John Parrette.  The West Point Clarinet Quartet performed Paul Harvey’s

Quartet, Michael Henry’s Birdwatching, Dubois’ Quatuor, and Alfred Uhl’s Divertimento.    The Band

Clarinet Choir performed a varied program of transcriptions including the Holst 1st Suite (originally for Band),

Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachmusik, original workd Peter Schickele’ Monochrome 3 for 9 Clarinets, and Martin

Ellerby’s  Loopring the Loop.   What made this clarinet section interesting is the total quality consistency between

the 2 Quartets, the Choir, which was extraordinary.   Two Clarinet section recitals with each member performing a

piece proved the flexibility and individual talent of each member.

Mozart Trio K498 with Larry Combs and ensemble

Mozart Trio performance

Combs explanation of Mozart Serenade transcription

Larry Combs and Clarinet Quartet

Steve Girko in recital


          Larry Combs and Steve Girko performed a recital, Mr Girko performing Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata,

Debussy’s Rhapsodie, and Babin’s Hillandale Waltzes with pianist Dr Ruthanne Schempf, daughter of past

Commander of this Band Colonel William Schempf.  Larry Combs performed a chamber recital including an

all Mozart program commemorating the 250th Birth year of this composer.  Program included the Kagelstadt

Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano K498, and with the Academy Clarinet Quartet, an arrangement

of Mozart’s Serenade No 12 K388 for 5 Clarinets.  Program was very impressive in the total scope of

ensemble music making.

Steve Girko and fingering ideas

Demonstration on points

Girko working with student

Ruthanne Schempf and Steve Girko

Larry Combs and Jennifer Schulden from UFL

Nielsen Concerto coaching

Phrase concept on Nielsen

Tschaikovsky Sym #6 excerpt

Combs coaching student

          Two master classes with the Competition finalists were convened covering critical performance

coaching on Orchestral material with Mr Combs, particularly the Tschaikovsky 6th Symphony, and the

Nielsen Clarinet Concerto with Jennifer Schuldler from the University of Florida and student of Mitchell Estrin. .  

Mr Girko covered the Mozart Clarinet Concerto to impress upon the importance of accuracy

and musical playing and how to deal with it in auditions.

Larry Combs and Steve Girko Orchestral seminar

Combs- Girko Orchestra career talk

Army Band career opportunity seminar

Band talk with participants


          Staff Sergeant Sam Kaestner, a Bass Clarinetist in the Band, gave a lecture demonstration

on the instrument covering fundamentals, the benefits of learning the instrument to complement clarinet

playing, and covering a glimpse of Orchestral literature of importance regarding the Bass Clarinet. 

A handout was given out with excerpt information.    

          Both Mr Girko and Combs presented a talk about Orchestral careers and all about it, from dealing

with ambitious students driven to pursue such a career and how to inspire or deter them from it given the

competition, other performance or teaching career options, and how the standards of performance and

critical measurement has increased.  Girko raised an interesting point about playing the clarinet as

your ‘job’ is more of not a job, but a great thing compared to working a ‘work day’ every day.  Music can

be an inspiring thing, and players constantly active in it are probably the happiest people around.  Mr Combs

reflected on his developmental time and drive to be in an orchestra, and how this drove his success. Many aspects

and details from both covered many ideas and histories, but probably the common factor was both their coming to

West Point for their time spent in the Army.  Both were subject to the draft during the Vietnam War, and both were

lucky to spend their Army time at this Band, and be able to be under the command of a man such as Col Schempf 

(an Eastman PhD), and be able to spend 3 years to prepare for future professional goals, studying in New York with

Leon Russianoff, getting a MM degree from Manhattan School of Music, and playing in a Band probably the best in

the nation at that time.  

          The Band gave a comprehensive review of the Band field with specific information about the career, the financial,

educational, medical benefits of such a career, the types of Bands in all the services, and describing the differences

between the Special Bands to the line Bands.   Several Band alumni and members of other service Bands were present

to speak their views and experiences. 

USMA Band with Larry Combs as soloist

Georyi Borisov winning soloist performing Rossini

Steve Girko soloist performing Bassi Rigoletto

John Parrette soloist in Gould Derivations

Alumni Combs and Girko with the USMA Band

Two USMA Band Clarinetists and Ruthanne Schempf

Larry Combs and composer Dana Wilson and colleague

Band solo clarinetist, Alumni Steve Girko, Mike Getzin, and Larry Combs

Luan Mueller and Band retiree colleague

LTC Holton, USMA Commander and presentation to Mr Combs


          The finale concert performed evening of March 18th was a major performance, playing a premiere of

Dana Wilson’s Liquid Ebony for Clarinet and Winds featuring Larry Combs (covered on the Premiere Page),

and a complete program with soloist Georgiy Borisov, studentof Mark Nuccio of the New York Philharmonic,

who won the West Point Competition, performing Rossini’s Intro, Theme and Variations. 

Steve Girko performing the Rigoletto of Bassi, John Parrette performing the Morton Gould Derivations.

          Credit for this remarkable program goes to the cumulative preparation of the entire Clarinet Section, to

SSG Sam Kaestner, Commander and Conductor Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Holton, and many behind the scenes. 

This program, held at the Eisenhower Hall, is a perfect setting of distinction for a program like this weekend.

Robert DiLutis demonstrating for Class

Mr Coppinger in Buffet talk

Buffet table exhibit

Robert DiLutis working with beginner

16 March 2006

Buffet Clarinet Month and Master Classes in the USA

            This month celebrated Buffet Clarinet Month across the USA.   As part of the celebration Buffet USA sponsored over

25 Master Classes at music stores across the country.  Thank you to Buffet USA who continues its fine tradition of

supporting music education for our youth.   Photos:  Robert DiLutis of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra giving classes in Hartford,

Connecticut  and Pittsford, New York


Robert DiLutis and program supporters

Clarinet Choir class

Clarinet Choir rehearsal with participants

Reed session

 14-15  March 2006

 Clarinet Madness with Robert DiLutis

 Petersborough, Ontario, Canada

              Sponsored by Buffet Canada/Coast Music, Gary Armstrong Woodwinds and Bb Music Co. Ltd.,and Alex Kudakcioglu, with featured

Buffet Artist Robert DiLutis of the Rochester Philharmonic and The Reed Machine.  This 2 day event had Mr. DiLutis doing everything

from making reeds to conducting the Wind Ensemble.   Peterbourough, Ontario was the site of this months Buffet Clinic, and more then

150 members of the Peterborough New Horizons Band and surronding community were there to watch and participate.  Mr.  DiLutis amazed

students with his performance of the Kovac Homage to DeFalla and well as his versatility in making reeds,  repairing instruments,  conducting

clarinet choirs and wind ensemble, sectionals, a breathing class and finally a "How to Practice Class".

        Mr DiLutis is very active in clinics regionally and is Director of the Buffet Clarinet Masters Week held in Rochester

each late summer, now in its 3rd year.



10 March 2006

Ricardo Morales Soloist with Philadelphia Orchestra in Mozart Clarinet Concerto K 622

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Ricardo Morales, always warmly welcomed on the island of his birth, gave a stellar performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, on March 10, 2006 in the Fine Arts Center in the penultimate concert of Puerto Rico’s 50th Casals Festival. Like a performance a year earlier, performed on a Basset A Clarinet, adds to the increased popularity of this instrument, in which it is believed the work was written for.  As this is the 250th Mozart Birthyear, it is very appropriate to make this work a major piece to be emphasized. 

John Bruce Yeh and daughter Molly on Burritt Duo Concertante

Samantha Angelo and Yeh Class

Adrienne Berry with Mr Yeh in class

Eastman School of Music

7 March 2006

John Bruce Yeh and daughter Molly Yeh in Master Class at Eastman School of Music

Rochester, New York, USA

          Chicago Symphony's Associate Solo Clarinetist John Bruce Yeh and his daughter Molly Yeh, after a

World Premiere success in the performance of Michael Burritt's Duo Concertante for Clarinet, Percussion,

and Concert Band played with the Northshore Concert band in Evanston, Illinois, held a full day in master

classes at this premiere school hosted by Professor Kenneth Grant.  Excerpt high points of this work were

demonstrated the Yehs with extensive class sessions held with Eastman Clarinet students.  Master classes like

these have inspiring affects in opening up approaches not tried before based on the student's backgrounds.

Two students, Samantha Angelo, who recently won a position into the US Marine Band (President's Own) in

Washington, DC, and Adrienne Berry, who recently graduated from Eastman, participated in the sessions.

Eastman has been known as one of the top schools in the world with an extensive track record of student success

for orchestral positions and University positions.  Former Professor Stanley Hasty, who is still active as a great

pedagogue, is in great demand all over the United States and at major music festivals.  He is considered a major icon

at Eastman even after his retirement.  Faculty members Kenneth Grant and Jon Manasse continue the Clarinet traditions.


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Revised: October 13, 2007