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In Memoriam 2015


19 December 2015



Kurt Mazur, Celebrated Kapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig from 1970 to 1996, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from 1991 to 2002 – and as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic from 2000 to 2007 - In Memoriam


Harrison, New York


               German conductor Kurt Masur has passed away this morning in Harrison, New York – aged 88.

               A specialist in the music of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mahler and Bruckner, he served as Kapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig from 1970 to 1996, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from 1991 to 2002 – and as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic from 2000 to 2007.

               Maestro Masur served as the current Music Director Emeritus of the New York Philharmonic.

              “Masur’s years at the New York Philharmonic represent one of its golden eras, in which music-making was infused with commitment and devotion — with the belief in the power of music to bring humanity closer together. The ethical and moral dimensions that he brought to his conducting are still palpable in the musicians’ playing, and I, along with the Philharmonic’s audiences, have much to thank him for. I will always be grateful for the support he gave me starting long ago when I was a student. I will miss him deeply,” New York Philharmonic Music Director, Alan Gilbert


6 November 2015



William Carl Dominik - Renowned Professor Emeritus and Recipient of the Order of the Pacific from the University of the Pacific - In Memoriam


Stockton, California USA 


                William Carl Dominik, who taught clarinet and chamber music at Pacific for 28 years, passed away Nov. 6 at the age of 90.  

                A native of Lansing, Michigan, Dominik was born June 12, 1925, the youngest of three children to Moravian immigrants. Music was a part of his life from an early age. He joined his father in local polka and dance bands while in junior high school.

                He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, initially playing clarinet and then served in other capacities including repairing airplanes. After the war, he resumed his studies, earning a Bachelor of Music degree at Michigan State College and both Master and Doctor of Music degrees at the University of Southern California.

                He taught at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Texas A&M and California State College-Los Angeles, among others, and studied with Clark Brody, Robert Marcellus, Kalman Bloch, Joseph Siniscalchi and Keith Stein. He played in various orchestras, including at Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in Massachusetts, and appeared as a soloist, clinician and adjudicator in Midwestern and Western states. 

               Dominik joined the faculty of  Pacific's Conservatory of Music in 1967 as a clarinet and chamber music professor, was active on numerous Conservatory and campus-wide committees, and performed with the Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet. Upon his retirement in 1995, he received the Order of the Pacific, the university's highest honor. 

              He was active in many professional and fraternal organizations, including Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, the Music Educators National Conference, and the International Clarinet Society, serving as the California State Chair for many years.  He also was a member of the Czechoslovak Society of America Fraternal Life.




30 October 2015





Guido Six - Renowned Clarinet Professor and Clarinet Choir Advocate, founder of the Claribel Clarinet Choir in Ghent and Ostend, Belgium, and Professor at the Conservatory in Ostend, and Director of the Belgian Clarinet Academy - In Memoriam


Ostend, Belgium



             The International Clarinet Community and the I.C.A. Board of Directors and membership send deep and heartfelt condolences to the family of Guido Six, with the loss of both Guido and his son Jef in a tragic accident on October 30, 2015. Guido's contributions to the world of clarinet, to music, and to his family in the clarinet world will be remembered for generations to come.
             Guido Six was just 18 years old when he passed the examination to perform as a military musician in the Band of the Gendarmerie. It was there that he met his predecessor Roland Cardon, eventually following him as Director of the Ostend Conservatory in Belgium. Guido eventually became professor of clarinet and pedagogical coordinator.
            His Claribel Clarinet Choir, which began in 1992, experienced many successes at their performances in international music festivals. Six was also chairman of the Music Association of West Flanders and continued to organize his clarinet internship in Oostduinkerke. The Conservatory of Ostend serves as home for the Belgian Clarinet Academy, an international summer course for pre-professional clarinetists. Several world-renowned clarinetists joined Guido for a fascinating and instructive week in this beautiful Flemish coastal city each summer.
           The renowned and elite Claribel Clarinet Choir from Ostend, Belgium performed at the 20th Anniversary Concert at the MidWest Band & Orchestra Clinic with soloists, and Director and Founder Guido Six was awarded Commendation from the International Music Educators Association. As a high-point in his career, Mr. Six was again awarded for his accomplishments by the International Music Educators Association in developing his agenda and achieving his goals in his field. Of special note, Guido Six published a vast repertoire for the clarinet choir and was a masterful teacher and performer. He served as Artistic Director of two ClarinetFests in Belgium, 1993 in Ghent and 1999 in Ostend, and plans were underway for ClarinetFest 2018 to take place in Ostend as well.


26 July 2015




John McCaw, Renowned Solo Clarinetist and Soloist in the Philharmonia Orchestra and the London Philharmonic - In Memoriam


London, United Kingdom


             The clarinettist John McCaw, always known personally as Jack, has died at the age of 96. He lived opposite us.

             We had no idea, when we moved to our house back in the last century, that he was there. Virtually every clarinettist I've come across since then had at some point been to our street for lessons with him. He was principal clarinet successively of the Philharmonia and of the London Philharmonic, many years ago (and would always watch with much amusement as Tom zoomed out of our front door with instrument case and raincoat to catch the train to Glyndebourne). He was well known as a soloist, and made the recording above of the Nielsen and Mozart concertos with the New Philharmonia and Raymond Leppard in, I believe, a single day.

             He can be heard in innumerable recordings, including, if I remember rightly, the Elgar Cello Concerto with du Pré, Barenboim and the LPO (1967), the Nielsen Symphony No.5 conducted by Jascha Horenstein and apparently with Placido Domingo singing 'La vita e inferno' from La forza del destino. In 1977 he played the Mozart Concerto at the Proms with the Philharmonia under Riccardo Muti. He also championed the works of Joseph Holbrooke.

            Jack was born in New Zealand at the very end of the First World War and came to live in the UK a few years after the end of the Second, when he was about 30. He and his wife, Ann, a pianist, had lived in their house for more than 50 years.

           He was a vivid, sparky character with an unfailing wit, a great deal of charm and, we hear, little patience for nonsense from conductors. He was meticulous, house-proud and a keen gardener. Even when he was over 90 we would see him on a step-ladder with an electric saw, trimming his hedge into a perfect oblong.


23 May 2015



Richard Page - Renowned Soloist and Bass Clarinetist in the Pittsburgh Symphony - In Memoriam


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA


                 On May 23, 2015, music lost one of its truest voices. Richard Page was principal bass clarinet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 2014, joining the orchestra under the music directorship of Andre Previn. His sound and his musical intelligence were known and admired by musicians across the world. Born on May 26, 1948, Dick was a native Pittsburgher and graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied clarinet with Louis Paul. As deep as his love of music was, it could not touch his love for his grandchildren, Ethan, Elly and Evan, who changed his life. It was a great gift to him to be a stepfather to Leah Hagemann, Jill Martin and Sherree Hall, and he felt blessed to be part of the Martin family, where he is survived by sisters, Donna Martin and Mary Ross, and Rita Martin and Gayle Fierst. He was predeceased by their parents, Jean and Ed Martin. For 32 years he was a devoted husband to Sue Martin, the polestar of his life. Plans for a Memorial Service will be announced at a later date. Contributions in Dick's memory may be made to the following or to a charity of your choice : Pittsburgh Buddhist Center 111, Route 908, Natrona Heights, PA 15065 or South Hills Interfaith Ministries, 5301 Park Avenue, Bethel Park, PA 15102.


                Richard Page is remembered by his colleagues as not only a wonderful bass clarinetist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, but also a skilled emergency repairman.

“I, and others, when we would have an emergency and we had something important to play the next day or even that evening, would call him and say, ‘I really hate to bother you but ... .’ He would say, ‘Come on over,’ ” said Jim Gorton, Mr. Page’s longtime friend and retired co-principal oboist for the PSO. “You would sit in his workshop and he would keep working on the instrument until it was perfect. He would give it to you to try, and if it wasn’t exactly right, he would say, ‘Give it back, I’ll fix it.’ ”

              Sue Martin, Mr. Page’s wife, said his involvement in instrument repair was an example of how “meticulous and attentive to detail” her late husband was.

Mr. Page, 66, of Mt. Lebanon was the principal bass clarinetist for the PSO from 1978 to 2014. He died Saturday from glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer.

              Born in Forest Hills, he began playing an instrument at age 8 when his mother gave him an old clarinet. He chose to pursue music while studying under Louis Paul, the PSO principal clarinetist at the time, during summer institutes when he was in high school, Ms. Martin said. Mr. Page continued to study with Mr. Paul throughout his college years at Carnegie Mellon University. After graduation, he joined the National Symphony Orchestra of El Salvador. He later returned to Pittsburgh and joined the PSO.

              Jonnie Viakley, a family friend, emphasized how much the orchestra valued Mr. Page, citing the piece it commissioned for him — American composer Ezra Laderman’s Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, which received its world premiere in Pittsburgh in 2003.

             “He was an amazing musician. His sound was like no other,” Ms. Viakley said. Mr. Page also was a founding member of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.

             He and his wife also hosted “Concerts for Causes” in their home, through which they raised $30,000 in three years for the Homeless Children Education Fund.

Mr. Page loved cooking, riding bikes, creating stained glass and dancing the tango.

            “He dabbled in a lot of things and everything he dabbled in, he did extremely well,” Mr. Gorton said.

Music, however, remained the core passion of his life and it “provided the context for everything he did,” Ms. Martin said.

            Mr. Page and his wife were introduced to Buddhism by a group of Tibetan monks 15 years ago, and they became involved with the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center after his cancer diagnosis in 2011. Three monks from the center and one of the Tibetan monks were present at his death.  “At the time of his passing, the monks were chanting to him and the music helped him relax,” Ms. Martin said.


            In addition to his wife, Mr. Page is survived by his stepdaughters, Jill Martin of Regent Square and Leah Hagemann of Boulder, Colo.; and his three grandchildren.




15 May 2015



Dallas Tidwell, Renowned Teacher and Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisville School of Music - In Memoriam


Louisville, Kentucky USA


                 Dallas Tidwell was Associate Professor of Clarinet at the University of Louisville. He served as associate principal and second clarinetist with the Louisville Orchestra for 27 years. During that time he was featured as soloist with the Louisville Orchestra in concertos by Dan Welcher and Frederick Speck.. Mr. Tidwell has also has served as principal clarinetist with the Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet, Louisville Bach Society, and the Lake George (New York) Opera. He has been an active chamber performer for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Gerhard Chamber Festival (Alabama), Lake George Chamber Festival, and is a founding member of the Kentucky Center Chamber Players, now in their 21st season. He recently toured Japan with the Louisville String Quartet as part of the University of Hirosaki Chamber Music Festival.


               Mr. Tidwell holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Louisville. His principal teachers have included James Livingston, Larry Combs, Jerome Stowall, George Silfies, and Richard Nunemaker.



             Clarinetist Dallas Tidwell passed away yesterday. He was 64. Tidwell was Associate Professor of Clarinet at the University of Louisville, and played in the Louisville Orchestra as principal and second for 27 years. He was a founding member of the Kentucky Center Chamber Players, an ensemble that performed their final concert in March after more than 30 years of concerts. Tidwell was active as a performer and advocate of new music, working with composers Frederick Speck, Marc Satterwhite, Philip Rhodes, Dan Welcher among others. He has played on recordings through the Centaur, Koch, D’Note, Troy and First Edition Labels.


            Tidwell was loved and respected throughout the Louisville music community. Here are some reflections from those who worked with him. If you would like to add yours, please do so in the comments:

           “I’ve been so fortunate to have enjoyed such a long friendship with Dallas. When I returned to U of L in the early 90’s wanting to do some accompanying, it didn’t take long before he enticed me into the clarinet studio with all of the wonderful literature waiting to be learned and performed. Throughout these many years, I was always impressed with his knowledge, his attention to detail, his gift for inspiring his students, and most assuredly, his own talent for the clarinet which inspired me as a frequent collaborator with him. But even beyond music, he helped me grow in my knowledge, appreciation, and love for food, automobiles, works of art, house projects, and the list goes on and is practically endless. Words cannot express how much I will miss him, and I am a much better person for having known him. Rest well, my dear friend.” – David George, pianist

          “I always looked forward to any LO concert in which we had hired Dallas to play. He was an absolute professional, always the most prepared member of any clarinet section he was in, and always the most fun! He had been fighting this illness for a few years. If he was tired or in pain because of it, he never showed it. I was lucky enough to visit him and his family a few weeks ago, and he seemed to be approaching death in the way he approached life: with an incredible spirit, pride, humility, and a smile. He seemed to be at the top of his game up to the end. I admire him immensely. Without even trying, he taught us all how to be a class act as a musician and individual. I’m so fortunate to have met his amazing family as well, and my thoughts are with them.” – Andrea Levine, principal clarinet, Louisville Orchestra


          “I had the pleasure of performing with Dallas in the Louisville Chamber Winds. He was always so kind, always a smile and always willing to help in whatever capacity. This amazing orchestral player would sit all the way in the back of the section and play whatever part was needed, never asked for accolades and just was “one of the clarinetists”. His purpose was to play music and he enjoyed that at all levels of performance. As the page turner for KCCP for a season, I was privy to the rehearsal process of the group. It was a joy to watch him create within this amazing group of players. His attention to detail and his flexibility to meet the demands of all types of music was absolutely impressive. The last moment we shared was just a few weeks after Henry was born. We ran into each other in a restaurant and he and Edie were fussing over the baby. I asked how he was feeling and, as usual, ‘I’m doing pretty well, so far!’ He then asked me how I was doing and if I had started playing so soon after the baby. I said, ‘Yes, started practicing again this week.’ Edie and Kristen were so shocked, considering it had only been a week and a half since the surgery. Dallas looked at me and said “Good for you. We have to always keep the music going.’ So subtle and yet so profound. Thank you, Dallas, for the reminder to continuously fight for the music.’ – Carrie Ravenscraft, clarinetist

         “He was always teaching the art of musicianship. Technique, though important, was secondary to phrasing and capturing the composer’s musical intention in the music. He constantly strove to teach his students the art of making music. His ability to foster a competitive yet respectful studio environment is a magic I will never understand. His students were a part of his family.” – Samantha Holman, clarinetist


“I had the privilege of studying with Mr. Tidwell during my time at U of L and learned so much, not just about playing clarinet but about being a better person. He could always be persuaded to take some private lesson time to talk about racing and life and anything and everything. He will forever have a special place in my heart.” – Carolyn Fassio, clarinetist


        “Playing clarinet is supposed to be fun, not work. If you are not having fun, you are doing it wrong.” -Dallas Tidwell (via Samantha Holman)





15 March 2015



Edward Cabarga,   Bass Clarinetist in the Washington National Symphony - In Memoriam


Washington, DC USA


              It is with a sense of sad shock to learn of the untimely passing of a great Bass Clarinetist at such a young age.  The National Symphony will sorely miss this great artist member of their orchestral family.  His biography with his numerous career accomplishments is below:



24 February 2015




Ben Armato - Legendary Emeritus Clarinetist and Bass Clarinetist in the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Author of the 'Opera Clarinetist' - Inventor of the Reed Wizard and Perfecta Reed devices for measuring and reproducing reeds- In Memoriam


Ardsley, New York USA


                 It is with great grief to learn of this great VIP of the Clarinet world pass away after such a stellar career as performer, author, and inventor of such unique tools as stated below to serve the needs of players worldwide.  His contribution to the community is immeasurable and hopefully all will keep his legacy alive.  His legendary products he has developed over the years will continue to be available through Ben Redwine and his firm Redwine Jazz.  Of interest, Ben Armato has been a proactive supporter of clarinetists and has been active at Clarinet Festivals and has contributed as prizes at Competitions held at these events. Anyone involved with him has been surely blessed by his knowledge and generous spirit which should encourage all in the field to emulate this high character.  His biography is below.

          After serving in the United States Army Band at West Point from 1944-1947, Ben Armato attended the Juilliard School of Music, studying clarinet with Daniel Bonade. In 1953, he was hired by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. His contracted title was "General Clarinet", a unique position requiring him to be responsible for playing Solo, Second, E-flat and Bass clarinets.

              When Ben was hired, he was the youngest member of the orchestra and was called "the kid". Ben played with the Met for thirty-five years, a time he considers himself "showered in beauty." Ben played in the Met during the "Golden Age of Singers" and fondly remembers performing with such luminaries as Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Joan Sutherland, Jussi Bjoerling, Robert Merrill, and he particularly enjoyed the famous competition between Brigit Nilsson and Franco Corelli. He attributes the apex of his musical development to playing under the batons of conductors such as George Szell, Sir George Solti, Leopold Stokowski, Bruno Walter, Eric Leinsdorf, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein.

             In 1969, Ben invented and patented a precision reed measuring device, the PerfectaReed. In 1972, he published "The Opera Clarinetist", an opera excerpt book based on Ben's Metropolitan Opera parts, featuring all of the most important solos and passages from the history of the opera repertoire. In 1980, he wrote "Perfect A Reed", a scientific method for adjusting single reeds. This book is no longer in print and has been vastly expanded to Ben's most recent publication, "Perfect A Reed... and Beyond", published in 1995. In 1993, Ben invented and patented The Reed Wizard, an ingenious profiling device that quickly and easily redesigns and balances commercially manufactured reeds.

            In addition to a storied career as a performer and achieving success as an inventor and author, Ben's true passion is for teaching. He has maintained a private teaching studio for most of this life and taught on the faculty of SUNY Purchase from 1981-1991. He has been seen at most clarinet conventions taking students aside and giving them gratis private lessons. Many of them have no idea that they have received guidance from such an important teacher!

          Ben has shared the majority of his life with Ruth Negri, a classmate at Juilliard. Ruth is a harpist and spent her professional career performing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2010, Ben and Ruth celebrated sixty years of marriage with their three daughters and six grandchildren.

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Revised: January 10, 2019