Dr. Stephanie Zelnick

Associate Professor, Clarinet
Primary office:
418 Murphy Hall

D.M.A. University of Northern Colorado; M.M. University of Northern Colorado; B.M Rice University; B.A. Rice University

Dr. Stephanie Zelnick, Associate Professor of Clarinet at the University of Kansas, is also Principal Clarinet of the Boulder Philharmonic and Central City Opera. She is an acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, and teacher.

“Stephanie Zelnick is fabulous...bringing her considerable all to focus in a most rewarding performance-hopefully one that will inspire other clarinetists...” -Audiophile Audition

Zelnick is one of the most dynamic clarinetists of her generation, with a career that spans the United States, Asia, South America, and Europe. She has performed as a soloist in renowned venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Eastman School of Music, Festicamara Colombia, The National Concert Hall in Taiwan, Timisoara Academica Muzicala in Romania, Congreso del Clarineto in Spain, Academia Musicale Vincenzo Bellini in Italy, and the American Embassy in Lithuania, among others. She has taught masterclasses at numerous institutions, including the Juilliard School, Florida State University, Berkshire Music Trust (UK), Lithuanian Academy of Music, UNIRIO, and Michigan State University.

Zelnick is known as an eclectic recording artist,  from Brooke Joyce’s innovative Waves of Stone (Innova) to Appunti di Viaggio (Accademia Italiana del Clarinetto). She is a Naxos recording artist, featured as a soloist playing Morton Gould’s Derivations for Clarinet and Jazz Band. She has two solo albums: Diaspora, Music by Jewish Composers for Clarinet and Diversions, the Midcentury Clarinet. Her performing has been broadcast throughout the United States and Europe, including on WFMT, Chicago, playing on the Dame Myra Hess Series, and NPR.

Zelnick has performed with many orchestras, including the Colorado, Tucson, Tallahassee, Prague Opera, and Kansas City Symphonies, and has held principal positions in the Mississippi Symphony, Colorado Ballet, Greeley Philharmonic, Johann Strauss Opera in Vienna, and Prague Chamber Symphony.

She has toured Europe as a solo and chamber musician, performing in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Germany. She has travelled extensively as a member of the Prague International Trio and worked with the Czech-based Classicon XX. She has been sponsored by Privrednik, Serbia’s oldest humanitarian organization, to perform and teach throughout the country. She has been an artist in residence in Lithuania, been featured on Italian and Serbian television, and is returning this year as an artist in residence at the Universidade Federal de Goias and Universidad de Brasilia in Brazil.

With clarinetist Mariam Adam of the Imani Winds, she has founded the Adzel Duo, a group which strengthens cultural dialogues through music.  They have commissioned, performed, and recorded works by Forrest Pierce, Jason Barabba, Denmo Ibrahim, Anne Guzzo, and Mohammed Fairouz. They were most recently featured on the University of Delaware Clarinet Day, the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, and were sponsored by the Israeli Embassy for an upcoming tour in the Middle East.

She is a noted scholar and has published numerous reviews for the Clarinet and NACWPI. Her book, The High Altitude Clarinetist, will be published in Fall, 2016.  She is active in the International Clarinet Association, serving as Wyoming State Chair for the organization, the artistic committee for the 2008 convention, and is hosting the ClarinetFest 2016 at the University of Kansas.

She is especially dedicated to the idea that music is a dramatic catalyst for social change.  She has worked with students of the YOURS program of the People’s School of Chicago and Red de Escuelas de Musica de Medellin. These El-Sistema model programs are based on the idea of musical immersion programs being available for all members of a society, not just the wealthy.

Zelnick graduated from Rice University with a bachelors degree in clarinet performance. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant and an Artist Diploma at the Academy for the Performing Arts in Prague. She is currently a member of the J. William Fulbright Committee as a Peer Review member. Zelnick graduated from University of Northern Colorado with her masters and doctoral degrees and was on the faculty of the University of Wyoming for eight years. She is a Buffet-Crampon Artist and Clinician.


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