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May 2015 Hot News






10 May 2015

Bixby Kennedy, winner of the 2015 Harold Wright Merit Award Competition and Kenta Akaogi, who received an Honorable Mention award -  sponsored by the Boston Woodwind Society in honor of Harold Wright, past Solo Clarinetist in the Boston Symphony


Boston, Massachussets USA


Bixby Kennedy - Harold Wright Clarinet Merit Award - 2015

              Originally from Maryville, Tennessee, Bixby Kennedy began studying clarinet at age ten under the instruction of RoAnn Romines. Since then, clarinetist Bixby Kennedy has performed solo recitals, chamber music, and with orchestras throughout the world. Currently, Bixby is completing his Masterís of Music degree at Yale University under the tutelage of David Shifrin. As a graduate of Indiana Universityís Jacobs School of Music, Mr. Kennedy studied with Howard Klug, Eric Hoeprich, Eli Eban, and the late Alfred Prinz. He holds degrees in modern and historical clarinet performance, as well as a performerís certificate, which was awarded to him for his junior recital. His solo performances and chamber music initiatives have been recognized with the receipt of the Namita Pal Commemorative Award in 2014 and the Hutton Honors College Creative Activity Grant in 2013. In June of 2015 he will compete in the Ima Hogg solo competition through the Houston Symphony. At the JSOM Historical Performance Institute hestudied and collaborated with artists such as Eric Hoeprich, Stanley Ritchie, Elisabeth Wright, Wendy Gillespie, and Michael McCraw. Bixby has performed in various solo, chamber, and orchestral venues on period instruments and will participate in the 2015 inaugural festival of the Berwick Academy, through the Oregon Bach Festival. Also an advocate of new music, Bixby has premiered solo, concerto, and orchestral works of colleagues and faculty composers of Indiana and Yale Universities. Additionally, as a founding member of the Videnia Wind Quintet, he has commissioned and premiered new chamber works.


Kenta Akaogi - Honorable Mention Award - 2015


            Born in Ibaraki, Japan and raised in the US, Kenta began his clarinet studies at the age of 12 and is currently pursuing a Masters of Music with David Shifrin at the Yale School of Music. He was previously a student and Graduate Assistant of James Campbell and Eli Eban at Indiana University, where he completed a Bachelors of Music and a Performerís Diploma as well as being awarded the prestigious Performerís Certificate. He is a prizewinner of the 21st Annual Indiana University Travel Grant Competition, the San Jose Wind Symphony Young Artistís Competition and was a contender of the 5th Carl Nielsen Clarinet Competition. As an orchestral clarinetist, Kenta has performed with orchestras including the New World Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Bloomington Camarata Orchestra and has performed in venues across the US and Europe including the Berlin Philharmonie, Munich Philharmonie, Prague Municipal House and the San Francisco Davies Symphony Hall. He has participated in solo master classes with artists including, Yehuda Gilad, Charles Neidich.Wenzel Fuchs, Paul Meyer and members of the Brentano and Tokyo String Quartets.



           Harold Wright, for which this Merit Competition is honored to,  was born in Wayne, Pennsylvania and began playing the clarinet at age twelve. He attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied clarinet with the Philadelphia Orchestra's principal clarinetist, Ralph McLane, and chamber music with that orchestra's principal oboist, Marcel Tabuteau.

          Upon graduating from Curtis, Mr. Wright joined the Houston Symphony and a year later became principal clarinetist of the Dallas Symphony. For many summers he participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and the Casals Festival Orchestra and was a frequent guest artist with the Lincoln Center Chamber Concerts, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and the chamber music concerts at the 92nd Street "Y" in New York. He also appeared frequently with such leading string quartets as the Budapest, Guarneri, Vermeer, and Juilliard. In 1970 he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as principal clarinet and taught at New England Conservatory, Boston University, and the Tanglewood Music Center until his untimely death in August 1993. He has left a legacy of memorable recordings.






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