Tag Archives: Cigan

Until Next Year

2014-08-07What a whirlwind of a conference! With a record of more than 1400 registrants, this has been said to be the largest ClarinetFest to date. Bravo to Mr. Robert DiLutis and his team on an extremely successful conference, and bravo for choosing such a relevant topic. With workshops on navigating social media, marketing, and creating your own business along with traditional classes on reeds, masterclasses, and excerpts, clarinetists were given a wealth of information to help make them more well-rounded and prepared professionals of today. In today’s musical marketplace, musicians are not only expected to play styles from jazz to classical, but they must be able to create a concert series, build an audience, and function as an educator in order to remain relevant. Does this seem daunting? Of course it does, but none of these things in and of themselves are impossible, it’s about finding your voice, and with the tools from this year’s ClarinetFest, young and established professionals alike are more prepared for the changing face of our field.
All that being said, in addition to navigating a “business model,” we have to have the goods. The best marketing strategy, most inventive ideas, and attractive personalities are meaningless if you do not have the artistic skills and technique as a foundation for your musical endeavors. With inspiring concerts and recitals throughout each day and closing each evening, we were constantly reminded of the fierce dedication we must have to our craft and the level of excellence we must strive for.
For more details about entrepreneurship and the world of clarinet, search this blog. Each blog is tagged with topics such as entrepreneurship, bass clarinet, jazz, the names of specific artists performing and presenting, etc. See you at ClarinetFest 2015 in Madrid, Spain hosted by Pedro Rubio and Justo Sanz!

–Notes by Melissa Morales
Melissa Morales is a master’s student at DePaul University studying with Julie DeRoche and Larry Combs. She currently teaches at The People’s Music School and performs witThe Candid Concert Opera’s Orchestra Nova and the Chicago Symphonic Winds.


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Filed under Day 5, Uncategorized

Buffet Crampon Gala Concert

10556216_857259564285448_2699921473091380692_n[2]On the final evening at ClarinetFest 2014, we enjoyed incredible works for clarinet and orchestra.  Alcides Rodriguez and Gabor Varga give a jovial opening to the concert playing Krommer’s Concerto for Two Clarinets and Orchestra, Op. 35.  With bubbling lines and a beautiful blend, the duo played with poise and grace. The two clarinetists displayed great sensitivity to throughout the second movement, playing with great control and intonation over a subdued Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.

Following was Ralph Skiano with his poignant interpretation of Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsodie.  The clarinet weaved its way in and around the orchestra with incredible ease, wafting through elongated phrases and impish flourishes.  In these moments the interplay between soloist and and the orchestra’s principal winds was delightful, particularly with the oboist.

Taking the stage, Greg Raden performed Weber’s Concerto No. 1.  His first note stilled the room with his pure sound floating high above the orchestra.  The third movement was lively with delicate inflections and a variety of colors which made for a lovely contrast between themes.

Antonio Saiote gave a lively performance of Canongia’s Clarinet Concert No. 3 in E-flat.  With wild technical demands, Saiote took command of the stage and played with abandon.  Taking some artistic license, his virtuosic performance of Canongia’s work was a memorable performance from the night.

In a last-minute change of performers, Robert DiLutis took the stage instead of the programmed David Drosinos to perform Ben-Haim’s Pastoral Variee for Clarinet, Harp and Strings.  A consummate professional and profound musician, none would have assumed he was not the originally programmed artist.  In many respects, it was the most impressive performance of the evening.

A full, lush string section cued the start of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, and the final piece of the evening. Paul Cigan delivered an inspiring performance of our cornerstone work.  His pianos seemed to draw you in, peering into intimate moments of repose.

–Notes by Melissa Morales
Melissa Morales is a master’s student at DePaul University studying with Julie DeRoche and Larry Combs.  She currently teaches at The People’s Music School and performs with The Candid Concert Opera’s Orchestra Nova and the Chicago Symphonic Winds.

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Filed under Day 4, Evening Concert, Performances

Orchestral Excerpts with Paul Cigan

CiganMCPaul Cigan, principal clarinetist of the National Symphony Orchestra and professor at the University of Maryland, was well at home teaching three budding young clarinetists in his Friday masterclass. Luis Carlos De Leon, Kristi Hanno and Allison Allum all played classics from the standard repertoire, and everyone in the School of Music Recital Hall benefited from the new life Cigan breathed into the music.

Starting off with a bang, Luis Carlos De Leon dove right in with a fiery rendition of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9. De Leon played with agility and evenness, and Cigan encouraged an even more smooth interpretation by having De Leon play the entire passage slowly and slurred. When he returned to the original tempo and articulation markings, it sounded like a different piece. De Leon also played the slow movement from Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. Cigan demonstrated several ways to make the solo more interesting, with direction, despite the challenge every clarinetist faces when performing it unaccompanied.

Kristi Hanno performed the cadenza from the Copland concerto with great ease and expression. While recognizing Hanno’s carefully considered phrasing and musical accents, Cigan helped “edit” them to make the harmonic structure more clear. In keeping with the concerto’s jazz influences, Cigan recommended that Hanno play the very beginning of the cadenza as if she were making up the melody on the spot. The cadenza became even more purposeful, and Hanno’s expressions more noticeable, as she responded to his suggestions.

Last but not least, Allison Allum performed the solo from the Trio of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 and the standard solo from Pines of Rome. Despite having picked two very challenging excerpts, Allum displayed a firm basic knowledge of the works as well as a good foundation with which Cigan could work. The pair worked on smoothness in both excerpts as well as tempo in the first and a projecting, but beautiful sound in the second. Always attentive to the finer points in the music, Cigan pointed out that possibly the most difficult aspect of Pines of Rome is making a difference in the dynamics between the first and second statements of the theme. Allum showed great enthusiasm and responsiveness to Cigan’s ideas. For these college students and the audience members of all ages, the class was a great chance to refocus and gain inspiration in preparation for the fall.

–Notes by Alaina Pritz
Alaina Pritz is a recent graduate from The University of Maryland and currently plays with The United State Air Force Band – Band of the Golden West.

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Filed under Day 3, masterclass