Originally published in The Clarinet 44/2 (March 2017). Printed copies of The Clarinet are available for ICA members.
by Keith Koons
For the first time, the annual conference of the International Clarinet Association will meet in the state of Florida in the United States. The program will feature five days of outstanding lectures, competitions, master classes, clarinet choirs, and solo and ensemble performances.
Visitors can expect plenty of sunshine along with some summer showers. Convenient guest rooms and all conference events will be at the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton at the entrance to Universal Orlando Resort. The hotel is fully air conditioned for comfort. The conference will be held in partnership with the School of Performing Arts at the University of Central Florida. Artistic Director Keith Koons is assisted by the Artistic Leadership Team of Nikolay Blagov, Patrick Graham, Lynn Musco and Peter Wright. The ICA acknowledges the important support from the following official sponsors of the conference: Buffet Crampon, D’Addario Woodwinds, Rovner Products, RZ Woodwind Manufacturing, Vandoren and Yamaha Corporation of America.
The final rounds of the ICA competitions will be heard at the conference, including the High School Solo Competition, Orchestral Audition Competition and Young Artist Competition. The winning piece from the Composition Competition will be premiered by the ICA Professors Choir on Saturday evening. The finalists of the ICA Research Presentation Competition will present papers and be considered for prize recognition. All of the competition details, prize information and deadlines can be found on the ICA website.
In addition to the ICA Research Presentations, a full slate of lectures will be presented on topics including how to choose a new clarinet, woodwind doubling on Broadway, klezmer music, the secrets of reeds and more. Three outstanding clarinetists will be recognized with the Honorary Member Award: Eddie Daniels, Luis Rossi and Richard Stoltzman.
Afternoon and evening concerts will spotlight featured artists such as Kinan Azmeh, the Syrian-born artist known for his appearances with the Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma, who will make his ClarinetFest® debut. Brian Moorhead and Peter Wright, both of whom have long, distinguished orchestral careers in Florida, will be showcased in recitals. Colin Lawson, from the Royal College of Music in London, will perform a historical clarinet recital. Works for clarinet and electronics will be heard on a featured afternoon recital on Saturday, including performances by Adam Ballif, Joshua Bennett, Sarunas Jankauskas, Eric Mandat, Dawn McConkie and Phillip Paglialonga.
For the first time at an ICA conference, a concert of clarinet soloists with percussion ensemble will be part of the program. Appearing with the UCF Percussion Ensemble (Thad Anderson, conductor) on Friday will be the Four New Brothers bass clarinet quartet, the Stark Quartet, Kliment Krylovskiy, Matthias Müller, Gregory Oakes, Alison Storochuk, and Kennen White.
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will present the first evening concert on Wednesday evening, with soloists Julian Bliss, Richie Hawley, Milan Rericha and Richard Stoltzman. The Ritz Chamber Players String Quartet will be heard on Thursday evening, with soloists Nicola Bulfone, Eugene Kavadlo, Kimberly Cole Luevano and Catherine Wood. The Southern Winds Symphonic Band from Deland, Florida, conducted by Douglas Phillips, will present an exciting concert Friday evening with soloists Nicolas Baldeyrou, Julie DeRoche, Alex Fiterstein and Anna Hashimoto. The UCF Jazz Professors, the distinguished faculty jazz combo at nearby University of Central Florida, will perform in concert on Saturday evening with featured soloists Allan Vaché and Ken Peplowski.
Please see the full list for additional performers. Clarinet choirs will be performing each morning, and other recitals will have a wonderful variety of soloists, clarinet and piano duos, clarinet quartets and other ensembles. Many new commissions and world premieres will be heard throughout the week.
As usual, two special clarinet choirs will be formed during the conference for open participation – the Collegiate Clarinet Choir for college students, and the Festival Clarinet Choir, which is open to all attendees. There is a particular need for low clarinets; please indicate your interest on the registration form! Both choirs will rehearse daily beginning on Thursday and perform at the conclusion of the conference on Sunday.
Many exhibitors are expected for the conference. Attendees will have easy access to all the exhibits, which will be displayed in a large ballroom at the hotel just a few steps from the guest room elevators.
The DoubleTree Hotel underwent a full renovation in early 2017. A block of rooms has been reserved with favorable rates, with up to four people sharing a room. Details may be found on the ICA website – reserve early to make sure you get a room!
Orlando is one of the top vacation destinations in the world. It is easy to combine the conference with other tourist attractions in the area – including the Kennedy Space Center and numerous beaches – letting families enjoy the many benefits of a visit to Orlando. A variety of restaurants and opportunities for shopping are located nearby. For visitors arriving by air to Orlando International Airport, local transportation to the hotel can be arranged with a shuttle service, taxi or rental car.
You won’t want to miss this exciting program at ClarinetFest® 2017!