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KU School of Music to host ClarinetFest 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Lawrence, KS – For one week this summer, the world’s top clarinetists will be heard in Lawrence as the University of Kansas School of Music hosts ClarinetFest® 2016. 

More than 1,000 clarinet enthusiasts from around the world, including Grammy winners and clarinetists from leading orchestras, will come to Lawrence for the annual conference of the International Clarinet Association.

ClarinetFest® 2016 will be held from Aug. 3 to 7 and feature free nightly performances at the Lied Center that are open to the public. These concerts will highlight an eclectic mix of musical styles and musicians.

“Each year ClarinetFest® brings together the world’s greatest clarinet artists. I am thrilled that for five days, these artists will showcase their talents at the University of Kansas, ” KU School of Music Dean Robert Walzel said. “It’s a treat to share with our community one of the greatest collections of clarinet virtuosi ever assembled.”

On Wednesday, Aug. 3 acclaimed clarinetist David Shifrin will be joined by renowned pianist André Watts, the Miró String Quartet, and veteran screen actor Jack Gilpin to present An Unlikely Muse, a dramatic musical exploration of the relationship of Johannes Brahms and the clarinetist who inspired the composer to forgo retirement to produce some of music’s greatest masterpieces.  

Thursday, Aug. 4 is Jazz Night.  The evening opens with New York clarinetist Ron Odrich performing with members of the KU School of Music Jazz faculty in a tribute to Buddy DeFranco and Benny Goodman. The concert is followed by jazz master Eddie Daniels performing with an all-star big band comprised of members of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and others from around the country.  

Friday, Aug. 5 will offer Concerto Night, which features the Kansas Sinfonietta, conducted by KU director of orchestral activities David Neely and includes clarinet soloists from the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Brussels, Rome, Houston and Utah symphony orchestras.  

Saturday, Aug. 6 features a potpourri of musical selections, including a world premiere performance with chamber orchestra by Philippe Cuper, supersoloiste of the Paris National Opera.

Evening concerts for ClarinetFest® 2016 are at the Lied Center of Kansas and free through the generosity of Reach Out Kansas, Inc., Zakoura Family Foundation, Smithyman & Zakoura, Chartered, Lied Center of Kansas and the KU School of Music.

Along with daily and nightly concerts, the conference offers lectures, master classes, competitions and clarinet choirs. Previous locations for the international conference have included Madrid, Tokyo, Stockholm, Paris and Chicago. 

“We are excited to be joined by so many amazing performers, educators and manufacturers here in Lawrence,” said Stephanie Zelnick, KU associate professor of clarinet who along with Walzel makes up the artistic team hosting the conference. “With so much musical talent under one roof, this is going to be an exciting week.”

For more information on the International Clarinet Association and ClarinetFest® 2016 go to: http://clarinet.org/index.php/clarinetfest/clarinetfest-2016/

For more information on the KU School of Music go to music.ku.edu.

Schedule for free public concerts:

Wednesday, Aug. 3
Lied Center
7:30 p.m.
 An Unlikely Muse 

This musical drama written by Harry Clark centers on 19th century clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, who inspired four of composer Johannes Brahms’ masterpieces. The performance will feature noted Broadway actor Jack Gilpin as Mühlfeld, world-renowned pianist André Watts, clarinetist David Shifrin and the Miró Quartet.

Thursday, Aug. 4
Lied Center
7 p.m.
Buddy & Benny

Thursday evening performances will both celebrate and feature jazz greats. 

At 7 p.m., New York clarinetist Ron Odrich will pay tribute to the memory of good friend Buddy DeFranco and reflect on the inspiration of jazz legend Benny Goodman in the performance Buddy and Benny. The program will include tunes that Odrich played in concert with DeFranco, who was a friend, teacher and mentor. 

Joining Odrich will be a rhythm section made up of Kansas City’s finest jazz musicians and KU School of Music jazz faculty. 

8:15 p.m.
Jazz Inspired

At 8:15 p.m., Grammy-winner and acclaimed jazz virtuoso Eddie Daniels will take the stage with the ClarinetFest® All-Star Big Band conducted by Dan Gailey, director of KU jazz studies. The program will look at jazz influences over the past 100 years and celebrate the future for clarinet in today’s jazz setting.

Friday, Aug. 5
Lied Center
7:30 p.m.
Concerto Night

Join director David Neely and the Kansas Sinfonietta for Concerto Night. Among the featured soloists are principal clarinetists from four of the world’s leading orchestras: Benjamin Lulich with the Cleveland Orchestra, Jonathan Gunn with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Ricardo Morales with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eddy Vanoosthuyse with the Brussels Philharmonic.

 Utah Symphony clarinetist Lee Livengood will perform with Grammy-nominated, mezzo-soprano Kirsten Gunlogson. And, bass clarinetists Sauro Berti, Richard Nunemaker, Rocco Parisi and Stephan Vermeersch will premiere “Four New Brothers,” an exciting new work by Arthur Gottschalk.

Saturday, Aug. 6
Lied Center
7 p.m.
International Clarinet Association Professors Clarinet Choir

The final evening of performances will highlight Philippe Cuper, the supersoloiste for the Paris National Opera Orchestra. At 7 p.m., Cuper will perform a solo during the Professors Clarinet Choir, a 30-minute concert directed by Mitchell Estrin.

7:30 p.m.
International Clarinet Association Awards Presentation
8:15 p.m.
Final Evening Extravaganza

For the Final Evening Extravaganza, which begins at 8:15 p.m. following an awards presentation, Cuper will give a solo performance during the world premier of “Concerto for Clarinet” a piece written by Alexandre Rydin. Also performing a fun and innovate collection of clarinet works are renowned musicians Sauro Berti, J. Lawrie Bloom, Pierre Génisson, Jonathan Gunn, Alcides Rodriguez and Eddy Vanoosthuyse.

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.