(PERFORMANCE * LECTURES * WORKSHOPS)
BASS CLARINET CONCERTO EDUCATIONAL RESIDENCY
Composer and bass clarinetist Jonathan Russell is pleased to present his Bass Clarinet Concerto, now available for performance, with associated lectures and workshops. A 22-minute work for solo bass clarinet and symphony orchestra, concert band, or clarinet choir, it draws on the dramatic sweep of the Romantic concerto tradition, filtered through Jonathan’s own eclectic set of influences ranging from Minimalism to Funk, Jazz, Klezmer, and beyond. The work explores the full range of bass clarinet techniques and colors, from funky grooves to soaring melodies to raucous multiphonics and wailing altissimo. An accessible introduction to the latest in bass clarinet virtuosity, it promises to appeal to everyone from devoted symphony-goers to new music connoisseurs to bass clarinet students and enthusiasts.
An effective addition to any professional symphony orchestra program, the concerto is especially well-suited to educational settings. The Complete Educational Package residency includes discounted ensemble parts and artist fee; a public lecture on the history of the bass clarinet; and other workshops and lectures for clarinet and composition students.
Jonathan Russell’s Bass Clarinet Concerto provides unique opportunities for audiences and students alike to engage with music through “ears-on” learning about the bass clarinet and its relationship to music composition today. The Complete Educational Package is a residency that can last anywhere from 2-5 days, depending on the budget and depth of engagement desired, consisting of three components: performance, lecture, and workshop.
At least one live, public performance of the concerto, with Jonathan Russell as soloist, forms the centerpiece of the residency. The concerto exists in versions for full orchestra, concert band, and clarinet choir, making it suitable for a wide range of situations. Ensemble parts are sent out well in advance (2-6 months) to enable thorough rehearsal before Jonathan’s arrival. Though meaty enough to fully engage any professional orchestra, the ensemble parts are also eminently approachable by college, conservatory, and community orchestras, bands, and clarinet choirs. Jonathan will also be prepared to give pre- or post-concert talks about the work. An additional recital concert of bass clarinet solo and/or chamber works may be included as well – the latter option can be especially desirable when there are high-level bass clarinet students available to perform alongside Jonathan.
Jonathan is prepared to give a public lecture on the history of the bass clarinet, from its early use in 19th century opera, to its increased visibility in early 20th century symphonic works, on through its breakout as a jazz instrument in the hands of Eric Dolphy in the 1960s, culminating in its arrival as a truly virtuosic voice in the hands of current players such as Harry Spaarnay, Michael Lowenstern, Evan Ziporyn, and Louis Sclavis. The lecture references numerous compositions for the bass clarinet, including Jonathan’s own works, making use of photos, audio recordings, and video to bring it all to life. It can function well either as a pre-concert talk or as a separate event. More technical lectures geared toward music students are also possible on the topics of Jonathan’s compositions, music theory of twentieth century extended tonal practice, or harmony in Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (the subject of Jonathan’s doctoral dissertation).
Jonathan is also prepared to offer a variety of workshops for students, both clarinetists and composers, depending on the needs and interests of the students and the institution. Possibilities include:
- Coaching clarinet and bass clarinet students in a master-class setting
- Coaching composition students in a master-class setting
- Coaching chamber music groups
- Workshop on klezmer clarinet and/or bass clarinet extended techniques
- Workshop on composing for the bass clarinet
- Workshop on non-traditional career paths for musicians
A variety of options for the length and content of the residency are available. Details can be discussed on a case by case basis. Sample included activities (all flexible and customizable) are below:
- 2 days: 1 rehearsal with ensemble, pre-concert talk, 1 workshop
- 3 days: above + 2nd ensemble rehearsal, 2 (total) workshops/lectures, private bass clarinet/composition lesson(s)
- 4 days: above + recital performance, 3 (total) workshops/lectures
- 5 days: above + 3rd orch. rehearsal, 4 (total) workshops/ lectures
TO SET UP A RESIDENCY OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT JONATHAN.