• National Schools of Clarinet Playing

    National schools of clarinet playing describe a group of clarinetists who share similar ideas of sound concept, pedagogy, fundamentals, and other ideological beliefs as they relate to the clarinet. These shared beliefs have been historically shaped by cultural, sociological, political, nationalistic, and other influences. These national schools are not as pronounced today due to technological advances and the blending of disparate cultural influences. I have included several major national schools of clarinet playing, but it is important to note that each country and larger geographical region has its own unique pedagogy and stylistic similarities. There are countless other prominent schools, including the Russian, Spanish, Israeli, Portuguese, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, Chinese,…

  • 31 Clarinet Compositions Written by Female Composers

    In celebration of Women’s History Month, I’ve created a list of 31 pieces for clarinet written by female composers, one for every day this month. By no means is this list comprehensive, but I hope this serves as nice introduction to the wide variety of wonderful music for clarinet by women composers. I have arranged this list alphabetically by composer’s last name. Please note that many of these composers have written several works featuring the clarinet. Unsuk Chin Concerto Yi Chen Chinese Ancient Dances Yvonne Desportes Trois petits contes Marie Félicie Clémence de Grandval Deux Pièces Sarah Feigin Fantasy for clarinet and piano Keiko Fujiie 3 Pieces, Op. 5 Ida Gotkovsky…

  • 100 More Famous Female Clarinetists Throughout History

    Last year, I wrote a list of 100 famous female clarinetists throughout history (I also wrote a more in-depth article on historical female clarinetists). Obviously, 100 is barely breaking the surface of all the wonderfully talented female clarinetists from around the world (past, present, and future), so here is the much-awaited sequel to this list. As always, this list is not meant to be comprehensive. I intend to make this a multi-part series, so please comment below with other female clarinetists who you would like to see featured on subsequent installments. Juliette Adam Deborah Andrus Anaïde Apelian Arngunnur Árnadóttir Emily Bernstein Joséphine Besançon Marie Billotte Betty Bley Anne Boeykens Carmen…

  • 10 Clarinet Concerti Written During the Last 10 Years

    Wow at how the time flies! I can hardly believe another decade is nearly over! To celebrate another wonderful ten years of clarinetistry, here are ten clarinet concerti written this last decade I’ve enjoyed (arranged alphabetically by composer’s last name): Sérgio Azevedo – Clarinet Concerto Unsuk Chin – Clarinet Concerto David Gompper – Clarinet Concerto (which is an orchestrated expansion of his Traceur for clarinet and piano) Rolf Martinsson – Concerto Fantastique Óscar Navarro – Clarinet Concerto No. 2 Joseph Phibbs – Clarinet Concerto Kareem Roustom – Clarinet Concerto: Adrift on the Wine-dark Sea Kaija Saariaho – D’om le vrai sens Frank Ticheli – Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble Michael…

  • 100 Famous Female Clarinetists Throughout History

    Any time is a great time to celebrate all the amazing women in the music industry. However, it seems extra appropriate to acknowledge some of them during the year of the woman, commemorating 100 years of women’s voting rights in the United States. As always, this list is not intended to be comprehensive. I’m always interested in hearing your suggestions for those you’d add to your own list, so please leave comments below with your ideas! If you’re interested, I also wrote a more detailed description of some famous female clarinetists throughout history. Mariam Adam Michelle Anderson Laura Ardan Lori Ardovino Diane Barger Ivy Benson Jessica Bessac Deborah Bish Romy…

  • 30 Famous French Clarinetists

    Happy Bastille Day – vive la France! I will always consider France my adopted country, so to celebrate this French national holiday I’ve listed 30 famous French clarinetists. As always, this list is not intended to be comprehensive. I have tried to include notable clarinetists who spent their formative years in France, but many of these clarinetists later moved to perform in other countries. Michel Arrignon Nicholas Baldeyrou Frédéric Berr Philippe Berrod Daniel Bonade Jacques Jules Boufil Louis Cahuzac Lucien Cailliet Florent Charpentier Philippe Cuper Alain Damiens Guy Dangain Ulysse Delécluse Guy Deplus Pierre Gennison Georges Grisez Gaston Hamelin Florent Héau Paul Jeanjean Hyacinthe Klosé Jacques Lancelot Jean-Xavier Lefèvre Paul…

  • 50 Famous American Clarinetists

    Happy Independence Day, America! To help celebrate and put you in a patriotic state of mind, here are 50 famous American clarinetists, listed alphabetically by last name. (Disclaimer: This list is not intended to be comprehensive – there are so many awesome American clarinetists past, present, and future! I tried to use clarinetists who were born in America, although there are countless talented players who moved here from other countries to perform. Make sure you share any American clarinetists you’d add to your own list in the comments!) Ben Armato Sidney Bechet Kalman Bloch Lawrie Bloom Clark Brody Carmine Campione Frank Cohen Jonathan Cohler Larry Combs Eddie Daniels Buddy DeFranco…

  • Canadian Clarinet Compositions

    Happy Canada Day! I’ve enjoyed my first year in this beautiful country as I complete my doctorate in Montreal. I’d like to celebrate this national holiday with a list of some works for clarinet by Canadian composers I’ve discovered during my time up north. By no means is this list comprehensive, so feel free to share your favorite Canadian clarinet compositions below! Violet Archer – Moods for clarinet and alto saxophone (Archer also wrote Soliloquies for B-flat and A clarinet, along with Crossroads for solo clarinet) John Beckwith – Fall Scene and Fair Dance for clarinet, violin, and strings Alan Belkin – Sonata No. 2 for clarinet and piano Stephen Chatman…

  • Clarinet Holidays We Should Start Celebrating

    Every day is a holiday when you play clarinet, but here are a few more clarinet-themed holidays we should start celebrating: International Clarinet Day – August 13 (Johann Denner’s birthday) Mozart Clarinet Concerto Day – June 22 (6/22 = K. 622) Brahms Clarinet Sonatas Day – January 20 (1/20 = Op. 120) Midsummer Night’s Dream Day – June 24 (Midsummer in many countries) International Day of Baermann – October 24 (I even wrote about why we should celebrate Baermann’s birthday!) Squidward Day – May 1 (the debut date of Spongebob Squarepants, featuring one of our favourite clarinetists – Squidward Tentacles!) What other clarinet holidays do you think we should we…

  • Historic High Notes in Clarinet Repertoire

    I’ve always loved hitting the high notes on the clarinet, and I consider it one of my musical strengths. I credit this to the friendly competition I had in high school with my best friends to see who could play higher (thanks Patrick and Robby!) and come up with the most fingerings for each note. (This could also be the reason I gravitate towards the E-flat clarinet instead of the bass, but that’s a subject for another day!) I’m currently preparing the Josef Rheinberger Sonata Op. 105a for a recital, and it has some uncharacteristically high notes for the Romantic period. It got me wondering – what are some of…