Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Andrew Moses "I Got Rhythm"

The most recent video from rising clarinet star, Andrew Moses. This video shows off his skills even better than the other. This kid has the potential to do amazing things.

Andrew Moses (age 11), "I Got Rhythm"

Juilliard Commencement Speech

World renowned composer John Adams gave the commencement speech at Juilliard this year. His speech is very interesting and speaks of the timeless importance of what we do as musicians as how we can cope with this "attention-deficit disorder country of ours." A really great read.

Juilliard Commencement Speech

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Clarinet Factory: A Clarinet Quartet Thinking Outside the Box

A clarinet quartet is a group usually consisting of three soprano clarinets and a bass clarinet; an ensemble weird enough in the classical world. Even stranger, though, is taking that group and mixing it with drums, electronics, singing, and other effects and instruments. The result is Clarinet Factory. This group of four, classically trained clarinetists is experimenting with different ways to play the clarinet. Whether they are imitating the sound of other instruments through the clarinet or adding didgeridoos and percussion, they are always looking for something different to experiment with. Check out their music. They have some really interesting stuff ranging from haunting melodies to dancelike beats.

Monday, May 23, 2011 : Information for Players of Every Level

Sean Osborn, former clarinetist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and graduate of the Curtis Institute of music, runs a very handy website. On it you will find many things such as Sean's bio, schedule, discography, etc., but the part of the site I want to focus on is his "Educational" section. Here you will find warmups, technique studies, legato exercises, an orchestral excerpt guide and more, all with written instructions and tips from Sean. I have found myself using this site many times for warm up ideas and help with phrasing. I haven't even begun to go through all of the information avaliable there. If you are ever bored, frustrated, or feeling uninspired, check out his site!

List of Principal Clarinet Player (part 3)

New York Philharmonic - Mark Nuccio (acting), Ricardo Morales (beginning Sep. 2012)

Bachelor's, University of Northern Colorado, Master's at Northwestern University with Robert Marcellus. 

Escuela Libre de Música, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Artist Diploma, 
Indiana University 

Oregon Symphony Orchestra - Yoshinori Nakao

Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra - Ricardo Morales

Escuela Libre de Música, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Artist Diploma, 
Indiana University 

Phoenix Symphony Orchestra - Alexander Laing

Northwestern Univsersity; Master's, Manhattan School of Music; artist's diploma, Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam 

Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra - Michael Rusinek, Thomas Thompson (co-principal)

Began studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music with Avrahm Galper; The Curtis Institute of Music

American Conservatory of Music; Northwestern University; addition private studies with Jerome Stowell, Robert Marcellus and Clark Brody

Rochester Philharmonic - Kenneth Grant

Eastman School of Music

San Antonio Symphony Orchestra - Illya Shterenberg

Began his music studies at Kosenko Music College in Zhitomir; Artist Diploma, Southern Methodist University; Some further study at Depaul University

San Diego Symphony Orchestra - Sheryl Renk

San Francisco State University; San Francisco Conservatory with Donald Carroll 

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - Carey Bell

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; Continued studies at DePaul University with Larry Combs

San Francisco Opera Orchestra - Jose Granero

Bachelor's, Granada Superior Conservatory (Spain); G. Verdi Conservatory (Italy); University of Southern California and The Colburn School with Yehuda Gilad

San Francisco Ballet Orchestra - Jose Granero (acting principal)

Bachelor's, Granada Superior Conservatory (Spain); G. Verdi Conservatory (Italy); University of Southern California and The Colburn School with Yehuda Gilad

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra - Timothy Paradise

Pomona College; Yale University; Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra - Scott Andrews

New England Conservatory with Harold Wright

Utah Symphony Orchestra - Tad Calcara

Manhattan School of Music; San Francisco Conservatory; Cleveland Institute of Music

Monday, May 16, 2011

What Excerpts do I need to Know? (band auditions)

For those of you pursuing clarinet performance, you are sure to encounter an audition some day. What kind of rep do you need to know? Well, it will always vary, but there are some staples of each. Below are some examples of rep for band auditions, with orchestral rep in the previous post. 

(rep can be downloaded here)

Concerto No. 2 - C.M. Weber

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Scherzo - Felix Mendelssohn 

The Rifle Regiment March - Sousa

Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral - R. Wagner

Prince Igor - Borodin

Pineapple Poll - Sullivan 

William Tell Overture - Rossini 

Russlan and Ludmilla - Glinka

Blue Shades - Ticheli 

Aegean Festival Overture - Makris

Sonata No. 2 - G.P. Telemann

What Excerpts do I need to Know? (orchestral auditions)

For those of you pursuing clarinet performance, you are sure to encounter an audition some day. What kind of rep do you need to know? Well, it will always vary, but there are some staples of each. Below are some examples of rep for orchestral auditions, with band rep to come in the following post.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet Auditions (as of May 16, 2011)
(rep can be downloaded here)

Concerto for Orchestra - Bartók

The Miraculous Mandarin - Bartók

Dances of Galanta - Kodály 

Pines of Rome - Respighi

Symphony No. 1 - Shostakovich 

Symphony No. 9 - Shostakovich 

Petrushka - Stravinsky

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra Principal Clarinet Auditions (as of May 16, 2011)
(more detailed list available here)

Mozart Clarinet Concerto, First Movement
Symphony No. 6 - Beethoven
Symphony No. 8 - Beethoven 

Midsummer Nights Dream, Scherzo - Mendelssohn 
Scheherazade - Rimsky Korsakov 
Capriccio espagnol - Rimsky Korsakov
Symphony No. 3 - Brahms
Concerto for Orchestra - Bartók
Symphony No. 2 - Rachmaninoff 
Daphnes et Chloe Suite II - Ravel

Peter and the Wolf - Prokofiev
Pines of Rome - Respighi
Symphony No. 9 - Shostakovich
Dances of Galanta - Kodály
Rhapsody in Blue - Gershwin

Saturday, May 14, 2011

List of Principal Clarinet Players (part 2)

Ft. Worth Symphony Orchestra - Ana Victoria Luperi

The Curtis Institute of Music with Donald Montanaro

Grant Park Symphony Orchestra - Charlene Zimmerman

Northwestern University 

Houston Symphony Orchestra - David Peck

University of Southern California 

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra - David A. Bellman

The Eastman School of Music with Stanley Hasty and Northwestern University with Larry Combs. 

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra - Peter Wright

BME, Jacksonville University, MM, The Eastman School of Music

Kansas City Symphony Orchestra - Raymond Santos

University of Southern California with Yehuda Gilad and Monica Kaenzig

Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra - (Unknown) Send us an email if you know who it is!

Los Angeles Philharmonic - Michele Zukovsky and Lorin Levee


Studied with her father, former LA Phil principal clarinetist, Kalman Bloch

DePaul University 

Louisville Symphony Orchestra - Andrea Levine

The Eastman School of Music with Kenneth Grant, The Cleveland Institute with Franklin Cohen 

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra - Anthony McGill and Stephen Williamson

The Curtis Institute of Music

BM, Performer's Certificate, The Eastman School of Music, MM, The Juilliard School 

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra - Todd Levy

The Juilliard School with David Weber

Minnesota Orchestra - Burt Hara

BM, The Curtis Institute of Music

Nashville Symphony Orchestra - James Zimmerman

BM, University of Southern California with Yehuda Gilad, MM, University of Minnesota with Burt Hara. 

National Symphony Orchestra - Loren Kitt

The Curtis Institute of Music

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra - Karl Herman

Carnegie-Mellon University with Jerome Levine, MM, New England Conservatory with Peter Hadcock

North Carolina Symphony Orchestra - Andrew Lowy

Bachelors in music and linguistics, Harvard, was pursuing graduate studies at the University of Southern California when he won the position.

New York City Ballet Orchestra - Steven Hartman

The Julliard School with Augustin Duqués, after Juilliard he continued private studies with Kalmen Opperman

New York City Opera Orchestra - Laura Flax

BM and MM, the Julliard School with Augustin Duqués and Leon Russianoff

Friday, May 13, 2011

Anthony McGill Plays Mozart for Corona Children

The Corona Youth Music Project is a wonderful program in Queens, New York. It offers free music programs for youth in the form of after school programs, seminars, and camps. Corona supports a children's orchestra and a choir along with instrumental and musicianship lessons.

"It serves the neighborhood by providing a safe, fun place for children to develop discipline, persistence, and self-esteem through music, and become productive valued members of society."   

- The Project, Corona website

This video is of Anthony McGill performing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto for a group of children at Corona. I find it inspiring and moving to see a musician reaching out like this. I thought you guys might enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Detroit Symphony Advertisement

The Detroit Symphony apparently put together a great advertising campaign, but in light of recent financial issues and strikes, can not afford to put them out there. Here is one of their videos. I think it is a great advertisement, it's just too bad it could not be aired.

How to Kill Orchestras - An article by Bernard Holland of the NYTimes

Check out this interesting article by internationally recognized music critic, Bernard Holland. In it, Holland talks about the origin of the US orchestra and the grim future he believes them to have. I found it to be a solemn read, mostly because of how sadly true it seems to be.

How to Kill Orchestras - Bernard Holland

Syracuse Symphony Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Tuesday, May 10, the Syracuse Symphony officially filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy. The decision to file for bankruptcy was made by the symphony's board of trustees on April 3 and involved laying off all 61 core and 14 contract musicians. This would have been their 50th anniversary season.

Syracuse Symphony Orchestra: A Message from Paul Brooks, Interim Executive Director and Rocco Mangano, Chair, Board of Trustees, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra


Clarinet BBoard Donation Drive

Image: Simon Howden /

The Clarinet BBoard is one of the biggest and most informative websites on the web when it comes to gaining knowledge about the clarinet. Whether you have questions about repertoire, playing, equipment, jobs, or almost anything else clarinet related, you are likely to find an answer here. Mark Charette is the great man behind this website and he is footing the bill for keeping it up. Ads help, but they are not enough to keep the site running. Please make a donation, even if it is just a dollar or two. It's simple, easy, and helps to keep this incredible and valuable website up and running.

Click HERE to go to the donation page

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Minimum Salaries of US Orchestras

At one time or another many of us have wondered what orchestra members get paid. For this reason I have made the following chart. All of the information is from the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) and is based on the most recent information provided there. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Steve Williamson named Principal Clarinet of the Chicago Symphony


It appears that the previous information was false. We have heard that Steve Williamson, currently co-principal of the Met, has been chosen as principal clarinet. The source of our info is the clarinet BBoard.

According to Clarinet Jobs' Facebook Page, Todd Levy will be on trial with the symphony this week.

"Todd is the only person (so far) to have been qualified by the committee for the job in this most recent audition." 
- Clarinet Jobs

Mr. Levy is currently principal clarinet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Metronome Plus: The Best Metronome App Available

I recently had the pleasure of downloading the Metronome Plus app, and let me tell you, it's amazing. Developed by President's Own Marine Band clarinetist, Joseph LeBlanc, it is truly spectacular. There is no other metronome app in the app store that is as simple to use, visually appealing, and feature packed. And for the special release price of $0.99, you can't go wrong!

The interface is very nice and easy to use and understand. The center is bar with a moving line gives a visual representation of the beat. On the bottom part of the screen is a large scroll wheel which makes tempo adjustments quick and painless. And the tempo range is massive going from 30 - 300 BPM. It also gives a text example of the tempo, such as allegro, moderato, etc. 

A simple swipe of the finger reveals many more options. This allows you to choose which beats to accent, rhythmic patterns, and different time signatures. It even offers four choices for the metronome sound (digital being my favorite). This app also boasts the loudest metronome sounds available for the iPod/iPhone/iPad. This makes it great during practice sessions as it can actually being heard over the sound of the instrument.

All in all, I think this is best metronome app around. It has the cleanest interface, the simplest adjustments, the most options, and the loudest sounds. And again, you can get it for only $0.99! If you don't own this app, make sure to download it. You won't regret it.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Interview with Phil Rovner: Ligatures, Acoustics, and More.

Phil Rovner, the man behind the world-famous Rovner Ligatures, was kind enough to answer some questions for us. We found the information very interesting and helpful. I hope you all do as well!

Rovner Website

Q. What first got you interested in the design of ligatures? 
A. "What caused my interest in ligatures was a problem I was having learning to play tenor sax after 15 years of jobbing successfully on alto sax, clarinet and flute. I was having difficulty playing the tenor in tune. At my day gig as an engineer, I was working on a project that utilized material similar to what we currently use in our ligatures. I wondered what would happen if the ligature was made of that material instead of metal, and created one similar to our Dark model.It worked. My intonation improved dramatically, and the rest is history."

Q. What is the most enjoyable part of your job? 
A. "My passion is finding ways to further improve our ligatures' performance; it seems there is no end to making a ligature play better, and so it's an ongoing effort."

Q. What is the most difficult part of your job? 
A. "Currently, the toughest part of my job is finding the time to continue experimenting and engineering the latest designs, as so much of my time is involved with administrative, marketing, and keeping the production flowing smoothly."

Q. How much of an impact does a ligature have on the sound? 
A. "Although there are players who claim the ligature has little or no effect on tone and playability, I and many others find  that the ligature greatly influences all aspects of tone, intonation, and playability. A great percentage of our ligature sales are the result of school band directors who insist that a new class of clarinet and saxophone players use our ligatures, as the resultant improvement in the students performance is a significant factor in the school band's overall good sound and intonation."

Q. What are the pros and cons of rigid vs flexible ligatures? 
A. "The performance of a reed is heavily influenced by how much vibration takes place in the heel of the reed. A rigid ligature causes the vibrational energy to be reflected heavily back toward the reed's tip, thus increasing the contribution of the reed's resonance to the overall tone. A flexible ligature allows the energy to flow into the heel of the reed, where it can be dissipated, thus allowing the air column resonances to dominate the tone, and also to minimize the reed's vibration from tending to bias the pitch away from trueness."

Q. What is accomplished by different methods of reed contact? (i.e. the Bonade rails, the Harrison four points, etc.) 
A. "Every difference in a ligature's configuration will have an influence on tone, intonation, and playability, One drawback to ligatures which utilize pressure points is that as the reed is played the pressure points gradually dig into the reed, and the way  the reed plays changes as a result. In our latest generation of ligatures we are finding that supporting the reed along the edges of the heel of the reed elicits the performance that most players seem to prefer; and so we are experiencing an excellent customer response to our latest models."

Q. What part of the ligature affects the sound the most? (i.e. material, thickness, reed contact points, etc.)
A. "The entire ligature is embodied in it's performance. Any change to any part of the ligature will result in a perceptive change in it's performance. For instance, our Turbo Charger Kit, even though it installs on our Legacy and Star Series models on the ligature pins which are on the side of the mouthpiece opposite the reed, it makes the tone decidedly more solid and substantive."

Q. What kinds of things are you experimenting with for your future ligatures? 
A. "We are currently in the process of upgrading our latest generation of ligatures that use "Mass Loaded Technology" with a view towards making the products more cost effective, to make them more accessible to students as well as professional players."