Ingvar Natanael Lidholm
(Jönköping, Sweden, February 24th, 1921 – Rönninge, Salem, Sweden, October 17th, 2017)
This Swedish composer began his music studies in his early childhood. He developed his musical activity working at the Swedish Radio with important tasks. In the Fifties he obtained international recognition; among other things, he cooperated with the Studio di Fonologia in Milan, and was awarded first Prize at the International Composition contest ISCM in Rome.
His work for solo clarinet, Amicizia (1980) was written as a homage to his colleague, musicologist Ingmar Bengtsson, on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday.
Amicizia is a character piece for solo clarinet, divided into four sections. Its title refers to Lidholm’s youth, and its atmosphere is enriched by a lyricism close to Nielsen’s style.
William Overtone Smith
(Sacramento CA, September 22nd, 1926 – Seattle, February 29th, 2020)
A clarinettist and composer, Bill Smith (stage name of William O. Smith) occupies an important place in the history of jazz music. He walked the paths of innovation and experimentation. He was among the first composers who took an interest in electronic music, and, as a performer, he experimented until 2004 with amplified clarinet. His catalogue of more than 200 multiphonic sounds for the clarinet is one of the most complete and most frequently consulted documents in its genre. His discography is extraordinarily rich. He has been an Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington.
Epitaphs (1993) is a work in eight short movements, written for two B-flat clarinets to be played simultaneously. Every movement is preceded by an epigram which should be read aloud. The texts are by Anyte of Tegea, a female author who lived in ancient Greece and who wrote these words when the Aulos was still abundantly employed. The entire piece is performed on two B-flat clarinets, aiming precisely at imitating an Aulos player.
(Durban, South Africa, March 9th, 1962 – Constance, Germany, January 22nd, 2010)
A South-African composer and pianist, after his studies at the Royal College of Music and at King’s College London, he had a very successful international career as a pianist of classical and jazz music.
The Southern African Music Rights Organisation commissioned him Game I for Lîla for solo clarinet as the South-African piece within the “Scholarship for instrument players” of 1996. The work includes two traditional African themes, “Shosholoza” and “Jikele maweni ndiyahamba”, as well as a syncopated sequence of chords typical for the popular South-African township, “mbaqanga”. This is Reddy’s preface to the score: “Lîla is my eight-y. o. daughter. At 4 she composed a wonderful song for Winnie-the-Pooh, and I just recorded a piano version of it on a new album called Rough’n’Reddy (1996). This is my way to thank her”.
(Brisbane, Australia, March 9th, 1960)
Born in Brisbane, Australia, he studied composition and piano at the University of Queensland where he obtained a MMus in composition and a PhD in philosophy of composition. As a teacher, he believes that students should be exposed to a large variety of styles and genres. His composition teaching focuses on the creation of a sound compositional expertise, grounded on solid phonetic and theoretical bases.
He says about his piece: “Having grown up as a Catholic, and having attended a convent school as a youth, the Angelus bell rung every day at midday with ritual devotion. Thrice the bell sounded three tolls, separated by prayers and followed by nine more final tolls. This piece is a meditation on my memory of that childhood experience and it imitates the structure of prayer”. Angelus was written for clarinettist Henri Bok in 2006.
(Osaka, Japan, April 27th, 1977)
Born in 1977 in Osaka, Japan, he moved to the United Kingdom at 15. A prize-winner of numerous composition competitions, he received numerous international commissions. He is the composer-in-residence at the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014. In 2017 he received the Leone d’Argento at the Venice Biennale.
“I wrote Sandpiper (2020) out of pure friendship with flutist Claire Chase. Shortly after, I transcribed it for piccolo clarinet in E-flat. When the pandemic struck in 2020, many of our freelance musicians began to lose their jobs, and had to face real difficulties in surviving as they literally had no income. Sandpiper was premiered as part of the New Music Solidarity Marathon, an event organised by Claire to fundraise for contemporary music artists who were jobless in the first months of the pandemic. (They collected more than $ 500,000!). Shortly before I began writing the piece, Claire sent me a voice message on the phone. When she was recording her message, she was in a forest, and she also played the flute for me in that personal message. Even though I cannot remember the music she played, I do remember the birds’ chirping in the background, and this somehow inspired me”.
(Conversano, Bari, July 16th, 1972)
He began writing music in his early childhood, and was offered a place at the prestigious Accademia Chigiana in Siena where he could study composition. He obtained a post-graduate diploma with full marks and honours at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, under the guidance of composer Azio Corghi. He also obtained a special scholarship which was personally attributed to him by Lucian Berio. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious prize “G. Premio Petrassi”, established by the President of the Italian Republic, for his work as a composer. He is the prize-winner at numerous national and international contests, and he received commissions and performances worldwide by great institutions and ensembles.
Pulse for solo clarinet (2016) is founded on the idea of a contrast between a “liquid” gesture and a statical harmony formed by several multiphonic sounds. The rotation of these two behaviours created an irregular pulse or beat within form.
(Bern, Switzerland, July 2nd, 1946)
He is a composer, conductor, clarinettist and MD from Switzerland. He has been the president of the Swiss Society for New Music, and a member of the Board of the International Society for Contemporary Music. He is a member of the composers’ group Groupe Lacroix. For his intense work he is recipient of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He frequently worked in close cooperation with Italian conductor Fabio Luisi.
Darbellay explains his piece thus: “Flash, for bass clarinet, is based on the two notes C and B as slap notes in the low register of the instrument, suggesting the typical noise produced by a reflex camera’s beat when one takes pictures”.
(Siena, August 16th, 1932 – Siena, May 14th, 2019)
He began his music studies with Maria De Fabritiis, graduating in piano in 1954 at the Conservatory “Cherubini” in Florence. He studied composition with Vito Frazzi. He continued his studies in Paris, from 1954 to 1960, at the Ecole Normale de Musique under the guidance of A. Honegger’s wife (counterpoint) and F. Poulenc, and also at the Conservatoire with D. Milhaud. He attended courses for film music composition at the Chigiana Academy in Siena with Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, with whom he cooperated for many years. From 1968 to 1997 he was a musical consultant for RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana.
He wrote more than 190 chamber music and symphonic works, and also wrote some chamber operas.
His Capriccio for B-flat or for E-flat piccolo clarinet (1985) is performed by Cirigliano on the piccolo. It is dedicated to Ciro Scarponi and was premiered by him at the “Festival Nuova Consonanza” in Rome, at Palazzo Taverna, on May 23rd, 1985.
(Fermignano, Pesaro Urbino, 1949 – Cagli, Pesaro Urbino 1997)
He studied at the Conservatory “G. Rossini” in Pesaro, following in particular the courses of electronic music given by Walter Branchi. His works for various instruments and ensembles are very numerous. In his last years he dedicated himself also to musical theatre and to dance-theatre. His works have been broadcast by several European radios and are recorded on CDs by important discographic companies. In 2007 and 2013 two international competitions for contemporary music performers took place, both dedicated to him.
Crazy jay blue for solo clarinet, commissioned by Ciro Scarponi, dates from 1985. It was premiered at the “Festival Nuova Consonanza” in Rome, at Palazzo Taverna, on May 23rd, 1985, by clarinettist Ciro Scarponi.
Scarponi himself affirms about Mencherini’s piece: “It is an imitative-descriptive piece, with explosions of violent, Baroque-like sounds, alternating with suffused double-stops of fourth, fifth, and sixth – always the same. The effect is poetic”.
(Györ, Hungary, September 28th, 1975)
After the beginning of his studies at the Conservatory of his city, he continued his education at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, where he studied clarinet with Prof. Béla Kovács graduating in 1999. He continued his clarinet studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum completing them in 2001. In Salzburg, he also obtained in 2005 a PhD in musicology. Theodor Burkali’s compositional output is wide-ranging, with works for a variety of ensembles, from solo to orchestra with mixed choir. At the heart of his compositional though there is a slow-motion moment, that, depending on his inspiration, he makes audible to the audience in a caricature which can be coloured, capriciously deformed or thoughtfully dilated in time. He synthetically describes his musical style with a collage word: POLYrhythmic (A)TOmiNimAL Art. Capriccietto for solo clarinet was composed on March 17th, 1997, during his studies in Budapest. With this work, Burkali obtained numerous successes as a clarinettist and composer.
Piero Vincenti © 2022
José Daniel Cirigliano
Concert performer, teacher, researcher and experimenter of the extended techniques of the clarinet and his "family".
After completing his studies under the guidance of M° Michele Pepe, at the Conservatory of music in Benevento, and the specialization interpretation courses for clarinet with M° Ciro Scarponi, alongside an intense concert activity of classical repertoire in various ensembles, his technical interpretative skills have also found an elective artistic dimension in contemporary music where he was able to express himself.
His recitals came out as fascinating and original performed with the whole "family" of the Clarinet. Such characteristic, the typological variety of the instrument, appears in the first CD Contemporaries Clarinet Works (Tactus, 2014) - complex work and considered an intriguing exploration into the contemporary world of “solo clarinet” […] an artistically valuable achievement (Amadeus 2015) -, and in the second CD Music for solo Clarinet between the 20th and the 21st Century (Tactus, 2019), a new and long-awaited project defined as a suggestive excursus of contemporary music of the last decades for clarinet alone.
For Da Vinci Classic he recorded Il Sognatoio by Ludovico Peroni, an experimental work in 9 scenes (2020).
His performances were broadcast by major Italian and foreign radio stations specialized in the sector, such as Venice Classic Radio, for which he also made a short introduction to listening of Contemporary music.
Reviews in famous magazines of the sector (Musica, Amadeus, Suonare, TG Music, de Klarinet, Il Manifesto, Rohrblatt, Jazz Italia, The Clarinet - Official journal of the International Clarinet Association-, L’Arte del Clarinetto -Official magazine of the Italian Clarinet Academy-) and on specialized Italian and foreign websites (www.cdclassico.com, MusicWeb International, gothicNetwork.org, MusicVoice.it, official website of R. Cresti) which express significant appreciation on his high level as an interpreter and performer including him among the best contemporary clarinetists (R. Zecchini, in Musica, 05/2015 n° 84).
Composers of renown fame composed for him excellent tracks of great interest and impression, being dedicated besides to his execution technique also to his outstanding interpretive vis.
Experimentation of extended techniques, issues of executive custom, are aspects that always concern the topics covered as part of Workshop and Masterclass.
Expected guest in numerous festivals and music reviews in Italy and abroad.
Ingvar Lidholm(b Jönköping, 24 Feb 1921). Swedish composer. In 1940 he entered the Royal Swedish Academy of Music to study the violin with Barkel, the piano with Brandel and conducting with Mann, but in 1943 he broke off his studies to join the royal chapel as a viola player. He stayed there until 1946, also studying composition with Rosenberg during this period. Later he was associated with other Rosenberg pupils (Blomdahl, Bäck, Johanson and others) in the influential Monday Group. He conducted the partly amateur Örebro Orchestra from 1947 to 1956, during which period he visited France, Switzerland and Italy (1946–7), the Darmstadt summer courses (1949) and England for further composition studies with Seiber (1954). He has also served as director of chamber music for Swedish Radio (1956–65), professor of composition at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music (1965–75) and director of planning for the radio music department (1974–9) and consultant (1979–84).
William O(verton) [Bill] Smith
(b Sacramento, CA, 22 Sept 1926). American composer and clarinettist. He studied composition with Milhaud at Mills College and with Sessions at the University of California, Berkeley (MA 1953), and the clarinet with Arthur Christman at the Juilliard School and with Ulysse Delecluse at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1946 he co-founded the Dave Brubeck Octet. He taught and directed the Contemporary Group at the University of Washington, Seattle, from 1966 to 1997, whilst pursuing an extensive performing career in both jazz and avant garde music. His honours include the Prix de Paris, the Prix de Rome, two Guggenheim Fellowships and a BMI Jazz Pioneer Award. As a jazz musician he performs under the name Bill Smith.
Smith’s Schizophrenic Scherzo (1947), written for the Brubeck Octet, was one of the first successful integrations of modern jazz and classical procedures, a style later dubbed ‘third stream’. His Duo for Clarinet and Recorded Clarinet (1960) is the earliest example of a work for clarinet and tape. In Concerto for Jazz Soloist and Orchestra (1962) a 12-note row is employed in both the improvisational solo clarinet part and in the orchestral accompaniment. The 1961 album Near Myth uses multiphonics, extreme high notes (to F''''), muted clarinet, piano harmonics and drum sticks on the inside of the piano. He has written many works for the clarinet which explore ground-breaking performance techniques for the instrument. He assembled the first and most comprehensive catalogue of fingerings for clarinet multiphonics (Rehfeldt, pp.99–121) and has explored: electrification of the instrument; the simultaneous use of mouthpieces on both lower and upper joints (Five Fragments, 1977); removal of the mouthpiece in order to play the instrument as a flute; playing the mouthpiece alone; computer-transformed sounds; vocalizing while playing, timbral trills, key clicks, muting, harmonics (Variants, 1963); playing two instruments at once (Epitaphs, 1993); and using an extended range.