ICA Plays On! 2021 – A Modern Perspective on the Mozart Concerto with Jonathan Cohler, John Bruce Yeh, and Nicolas Cox

Join panelists Jonathan Cohler, John Bruce Yeh, and Nicholas Cox as they discuss modern editions of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and the use of a basset clarinet in performance.


Nicholas Cox has shared a resource with us:



About the presenters:

Jonathan Cohler is recognized as the preeminent, most-recorded clarinet soloist of our time. American Record Guide has hailed his playing as “superhuman” while Fanfare Magazine placed him in the pantheon of legendary musicians—“one thinks of Dinu Lipatti”—and Gramophone lauded his “poetry that lesser artists miss.” His latest CD “Cohler plays and conducts Mozart” with the Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra has been dubbed “the standard for Mozart” and was recently featured on the cover of Fanfare Magazine. As both clarinetist and conductor, he has received numerous resounding accolades and awards including the Outstanding Recording mark of the American Record Guide, BBC Music Magazine’s Best CDs of The Year selection, and top ratings from magazines, radio stations, and record guides worldwide. Mr. Cohler and multiple-award-winning Lithuanian pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite form today’s leading clarinet-piano duo, which is featured on recent recordings “American Tribute,” “Romanza,” and “Rhapsodie Française.” Mr. Cohler is Professor of Clarinet, Conducting, and Chamber Music at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has been guest faculty at conservatories and universities around the world such as Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Eastman School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Harvard University to name a few. He is a Vandoren, Silverstein, Rossi, and Royal Global artist, and records exclusively for Ongaku Records. https://jonathancohler.com    https://facebook.com/J.Cohler    https://youtube.com/cohler59    https://ongaku-records.com/Cohler



Nicholas Cox served as Principal Clarinet of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra between 1992 and 2014, during which time he performed concertos by Copland, Weber, Nielsen, Bruch, Richard Strauss and Mozart, and recorded the symphonies of Beethoven, Nielsen, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov, and the tone poems of Strauss and Suk. He has also appeared as Guest Principal with the LSO, Philharmonia, Academy of St Martin’s, London Sinfonietta, Royal Northern Sinfonia, English National Opera, Royal Opera, Royal Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hallé, and all BBC Orchestras. Nicholas has held the position of Principal Clarinet of the Milton Keynes City Orchestra since 1991 and, as a soloist, has appeared at venues including the Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls, and at the Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Brighton and Huddersfield Festivals.

Nicholas’ profile as a player is also matched by a teaching career of distinction. An RNCM Tutor for over 20 years, many of his former pupils now hold positions in professional orchestras, and in 2006 his Junior RNCM student, Mark Simpson, became the first person to win both the BBC Young Musician and BBC Young Composer of the Year Awards. In addition to his RNCM commitments, Nicholas also gives masterclasses worldwide, including the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Finland and China. And a continuing summer commitment has been to the Italian Clarinet University in Camerino, a town very badly damaged by the 2016 earthquakes.

As a recording artist, Nicholas’ performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Quintet (ClassCD 1502) was released in 2003 and immediately became Classic FM’s CD of the Week, subsequently becoming one of the station’s most frequently broadcast versions of this much loved work. Other recordings include Strauss Duett-Concertino, Brahms and Reger Sonatas, the Bliss Quintet and a well-received disc of English repertoire entitled the Thurston Connection (Naxos).

Nicholas’ research and editorial work has involved producing modern realisations of the Clarinet Sonatas by the French classical composer Francois Devienne for EditionHH, performing editions of the clarinet Works of Mieczyslaw Weinberg for PeerMusic, and editions of the late works of Iain Hamilton for QTPublications. He has lectured on Brahms in German and English, notably at the International Clarinet Assocation Festival in Madrid in 2015, at the Istanbul International Woodwind Festival in 2016, and for a residency at CSU Northridge. He is currently researching the repertoire for solo clarinet since Stravinsky’s Three Pieces of 1919.


© Todd Rosenberg Photography 2010

© Todd Rosenberg Photography 2010

The first Asian musician ever appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as the longest-serving clarinetist in CSO history, John Bruce Yeh joined the CSO in June of 1977, having been appointed solo Bass Clarinet of the Orchestra at the age of nineteen by Sir Georg Solti. Two years later, he was named Assistant Principal and solo E-flat Clarinet. He served as Acting Principal Clarinet of the CSO from 2008-2011. Recently he has also performed as Guest Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra as well as of the Seoul Philharmonic in Korea and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in China. Yeh has performed concertos with the CSO on several occasions, including the 1998 American premiere of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto with Pierre Boulez conducting, and the 1993 performance of Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with Neeme Järvi. A concert recording of the Nielsen was released on the CSO CD set Soloists of the Orchestra II: From the Archives, vol. 15. In 2004, Yeh was featured in Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs in collaboration with the Hubbard Street Dance Company and the CSO conducted by David Robertson. An enthusiastic champion of new music, John Bruce Yeh is the dedicatee of new works for clarinet by numerous composers, ranging from Ralph Shapey to John Williams.

A prizewinner at both the 1982 Munich International Music Competition and the 1985 Naumburg Clarinet Competition in New York, Yeh continues to solo with orchestras around the globe. His more than a dozen solo and chamber music recordings have earned worldwide critical acclaim. In 2007, Naxos International released a disc titled “Synergy,” of single and double concertos with clarinet and symphonic wind ensemble featuring John, his wife Teresa, his daughter Molly, and the Columbus State University Wind Ensemble conducted by Robert Rumbelow. Yeh is director of Chicago Pro Musica, which received the Grammy Award in 1986 for Best New Classical Artist. He frequently appears at festivals and on chamber music series worldwide, and he has performed several times with Music from Marlboro; the Guarneri, Ying, Colorado, Pacifica, Calder, and Avalon string quartets; as well as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

With his wife, clarinetist Teresa Reilly, erhu virtuoso Wang Guowei, and pipa virtuoso Yang Wei, Yeh formed Birds and Phoenix an innovative quartet dedicated to musical exploration by bridging Eastern and Western musical cultures. In their debut performance in September 2006, the group performed works by Victoria Bond, Pamela Chen, Lu Pei, and Bright Sheng, all commissioned for them by Fontana Chamber Arts in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Passionately committed to music education, Yeh served for twenty-six years on the faculty of DePaul University’s School of Music, and he joined the faculty at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College for the Performing Arts in 2004. He has taught master classes at many universities and conservatories including the Juilliard, Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music, The Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern University, and the University of Michigan. In addition, he is on the faculty of Midwest Young Artists in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Los Angeles, John Bruce Yeh pursued premedical studies at UCLA, where he also won the Frank Sinatra Musical Performance Award. He entered the Juilliard School in 1975 and attended music schools in Aspen, Marlboro, and Tanglewood. He cites Gordon Herritt, Gary Gray, Michele Zukovsky, Harold Wright, Ray Still, Marcel Moyse, Allan Dennis, and Mehli Mehta as influential mentors.


When: 01/29/2021 | 12:00 pm

Featuring: Jonathan Cohler, John Bruce Yeh, and Nicolas Cox

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