Improbable Beasts is a Boston-based professional bass clarinet ensemble dedicated to bringing the deeply expressive power of multiple bass clarinets before a broad audience. Our repertoire ranges from Renaissance choral music to brand-new compositions to klezmer tunes and holiday songs. Our mission is to share the deep resonances, soaring lyricism, and propulsive grooves of bass clarinet ensemble music with as many people as we can.
The members of Improbable Beasts are some of the most sought-after clarinetists in the Boston area, regularly appearing with groups such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and numerous regional orchestras, new music groups, and chamber ensembles.
Improbable Beasts’ founder and leader, Jon Russell, has two decades of experience inventing and performing music for bass clarinet(s). He was a longtime member of the Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet, which channeled the ecstatic power of heavy metal through the deep resonances of four bass clarinets. He is a member, with Jeff Anderle, of the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo, which for the past 15 years has been creating a new repertoire of vital new music for two bass clarinets. Jon is also a seasoned composer and arranger, with a vast catalog of works for orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles, and wind bands. He is uniquely positioned to create and arrange music for many bass clarinets that fully exploits the extraordinary capabilities of this unusual ensemble. With the creation of Improbable Beasts, Jon can now realize the richly-textured, harmonious, ferocious music of his dreams.
The Improbable Beasts are: Amy Advocat, Hunter Bennett, Nicholas Brown, Celine Ferro, Chuck Furlong, Gary Gorczyca, Diane Heffner, Wolcott Humphrey, Bill Kirkley, Marguerite Levin, Kathy Matasy, Rane Moore, Annie Phillips, Jonathan Russell, Julie Stuckenschneider, and Ryan Yuré.
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