Report by Jacob Lee The ICA board members helped kick off the events of Wednesday, August 3 with a diverse potpourri concert.  The event began at noon with Robert Walzel, the artistic director for this year’s festival, giving opening remarks and much welcomed news on parking around campus. Dueling bass clarinetists Tod Kerstetter and Stephan Vermeersch took the stage next with Marc Mellits’ Black, both demonstrating an extraordinary dynamic range despite the piece’s technical and rhythmic demands. Vermeersch immediately followed up with his new composition Synaptic Sketches for unaccompanied B-flat clarinet, a kinetic work with many extended techniques. Caroline Hartig and pianist Jiung Yoon presented two pieces by Michele Mangani back-to-back. TheRead More →

Report by Melissa Morales The first evening concert, sponsored by Backun Musical Services, took place Wednesday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lied Center of Kansas. Artistic Directors Robert Walzel and Stephanie Zelnick opened the evening a greeting and a brief but heartfelt thanks to the Lied Center for the use of venue and Reach Out Kansas, Inc. and Jim Zakoura, of the Zakoura Family Foundation and Smithyman & Zakoura, Chartered, for their generous underwriting of the performance. An Unlikely Muse by playwright Harry Clark is a concert drama for one actor and six musicians. Led by the indomitable David Shifrin on clarinet, theRead More →

Report by Zachary Dierickx  French clarinetist and Buffet artist Pierre Génisson dazzled attendees at his 3:00 p.m. solo performance in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre on Wednesday, August 3. This was the first solo recital of the convention, following opening performances by the ICA board and ClarinetFest® 2016 hosts. Prior to the start of the recital, it was announced that Génisson would be performing on the newly released Buffet Tradition clarinet. The recital began with the Clarinet Sonata, Op. 167 of Camille Saint-Saëns. Génisson delivered a delicate and dynamic performance of the piece, beginning with a songful “Allegretto” and ending with a precise and dashing “Allegro molto – Allegretto.” The recital continued with the unmistakable Dance Preludes by Witold Lutoslawski. The audience had time toRead More →

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Report by Chastine Hofmeister The ClarinetFest® 2016 Host Recital took place on Wednesday, August 3 at 1:30 in the afternoon at the Crafton-Preyer Theatre. The recital featured ClarinetFest® hosts Dr. Stephanie Zelnick, associate professor of clarinet at the University of Kansas and principal clarinet of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and Dr. Robert Walzel, dean of the University of Kansas. Zelnick and Walzel commenced their recital with the short but beautiful Fantasia for Two Clarinets and Piano by Sarah Feigin. Despite being short, it was action-packed, with a lyrical opening that swept me away and plenty of upbeat technical sections. Their playing was well balanced and complimented each other. Walzel Read More →

Report by Anna Roach The Eastern European Souvenir concert took place Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. in Swarthout Recital Hall. It opened with a performance by Dr. Dmitry Perevertailenko who was sponsored by Tarleton State University. Perevertailenko began with Canzona for clarinet and piano by composer Sergei Taneyev accompanied by Ellen Sommer on piano. His attentive performance was a compelling beginning to the concert. Next he performed Alexander Goedicke’s Two Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 28. The first movement, titled “Nocturne,” was immediately captivating with its contemplative clarinet ornaments, and was contrasted effectively with the following “Etude,” where Perevertailenko expertly performed the dance-like music of this second movement. TheRead More →