SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will bring three of the biggest names in bass clarinet performance to the North Country this week.
The Crane Bass Clarinet Summit will be offered on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28 and 29 at Crane. Well-known guest artists include Henri Bok of Holland, Michael Lowenstern of New York City and André Moisan of Montreal.
In addition, Dr. Robert Walzel, the former president of the International Clarinet Association and current dean of the University of Kansas School of Music, is also set to take part in the summit.
Each artist will present a recital, as well as work with Crane students in masterclasses. There will also be clinics on instrument repair, reed and mouthpieces by national vendors. SUNY Potsdam alumni Daniel Pace and Joshua Redman are among the presenters.
The Crane Bass Clarinet Summit is sponsored by The Crane School of Music, the Crane Student Association, Buffet Crampon USA, Conn-Selmer USA, D’Addario/Rico Reeds, DANSR/Vandoren and Northern Music & Video.
The summit includes several open recitals. These concerts are free, and the public is invited to attend.
The recital line-up is as follows:
• Host recital: Friday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater
• Henri Bok recital: Friday at 8 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall
• Robert Walzel recital: Saturday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. in Snell Theater
• André Moisan recital: Saturday at 7 p.m. in Hosmer Hall
• Michael Lowenstern recital: Saturday at 8 p.m. in Hosmer Hall
• Crane Latin Ensemble jam session: Saturday at 9 p.m. at Maxfield’s in downtown Potsdam
For more information about the Crane Bass Clarinet Summit, visit www.potsdamclarinetsummit.org.
About the guest artists:
Henri Bok is artistic director of the World Bass Clarinet Convention. He has devoted his life to the bass clarinet, promoting the instrument and its repertoire for more than 25 years, both as a performer and a teacher. Since 1981, he has been a professor of bass clarinet at the Rotterdam (Superior) Conservatoire. Bok has invented unusual but very effective new chamber music formations, such as Duo Contemporain (with bass clarinet and marimba/vibraphone), Duo Novair (bass clarinet and accordion) and Bass Instincts (bass clarinet and bass oboe), among other collaborations. Hundreds of new compositions have been written for and dedicated to Bok by renowned composers from all over the world. He has recorded more than 20 albums, written for music magazines and is the author of the standard texts for his instrument, “New Techniques for the Bass Clarinet” and “The Bass Clarinet Manual.”
Michael Lowenstern is widely considered one of the finest bass clarinetists in the world. He has performed, recorded and toured as a soloist and with ensembles of every variety. Lowenstern has written music for concerts, films, dance and various new media. Actively involved with technology in sound and music, he has been a pioneer in the field of interactive computer music, having created or performed over a hundred works for bass clarinet and electronics. His collaborations have included remixes for the landmark recording “In C Remixed,” Michael Gordon’s video opera “Chaos” and various dance works with David Lang. Lowenstern received a Fulbright to study in Amsterdam and was the top prizewinner at the 1991 International Gaudeamus Competition. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, he trained at the Eastman School of Music, the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam and SUNY Stony Brook. He has served on the faculties of Juilliard and New York University and is currently a faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music.
André Moisan is a conductor and soloist, performing as principal saxophone and bass clarinetist with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. He is a professor of clarinet at the Université de Montréal. His numerous concerts abroad, in particular at Carnegie Hall, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and with Radio Berlin, have established him as a leading performer. As a conductor, he is the co-founder of Les Vents de Montréal and originated one of the few clarinet choirs in Canada. A member of the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec since 1977, Moisan was also a member of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne from 1989 to 1996.
A host and accomplished educator, he has led the Montreal orchestra in its youth concerts series since 1998, and also conducts performances in the children’s corner series. Moisan has released a number of well regarded albums, and has performed as a guest soloist with ensembles including Les Violons du Roy. He is known for his consummate mastery of the instrument, his musicality and the clarity of his technique.
Robert Walzel is the dean of the University of Kansas School of Music. Active as a soloist and chamber musician, he has appeared with the Ensemble of Santa Fe, the Dallas String Quartet, the Texas Clarinet Consort, Intermezzo, the Clear Lake Chamber Music Society and the Society for the Performing Arts in Houston. From major symphony orchestras to jazz and commercial music, Walzel has performed extensively in virtually every medium featuring clarinet and saxophone. International solo appearances include those in Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. With pianist Steven Glaser, Walzel has toured as an artistic ambassador for the United States Information Agency. The duo has also released an album, “Con Fuoco: Duos for Clarinet and Piano.” Walzel has served as festival coordinator for ClarinetFest, the annual conference of the International Clarinet Association, and is also a past president of this organization. He is also a visiting accreditation reviewer for the National Association of Schools of Music. Walzel received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Houston, and his Doctorate of Musical Arts in clarinet performance from the University of North Texas.
The clarinet department at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is comprised of approximately 50 clarinet majors studying either clarinet or bass clarinet pursuing degrees in music performance, music education, music business or musical studies. Many of its students have gone on to graduate programs in clarinet or are employed in public schools around New York State.
To learn more about the exceptional performance opportunities offered at Crane, visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.
Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.