ROCO Clarinetists Coming of Age

ROCO Clarinetists Coming of Age

Just a couple of weeks ago, ROCO announced the programming for our 2019-2020 season, “Coming of Age”.  My wonderful colleague and friend, Maiko Sasaki and I will be featured next season on ROCO’s Unchambered Series, so we spent quite a bit of time back in February brainstorming for our duo concert.  We had a great time exploring many options.

With this program, we want to tell the story of how the clarinet and music are inextricably linked with our coming of age stories, and our ongoing growth and development as musicians and human beings.  We brainstormed individually, then together, narrowed the list down to the pieces and composers we were most excited about at the time, then got down to business and read through A LOT of music!  We had a great time, laughed a lot, and learned a lot.

Our original and very long list included works by Theresa Martin, Libby Larsen, Michael Tenzer, Gary Schocker, Eric Mandat, Rodney Rogers, Marcus Maroney, Heinrich Crusell, François Devienne, Bela Kovacs, Richard Rodney Bennett, Gordon Lewin, Igor Stravinsky and, inevitably, Ponchielli and Mendelssohn.  After juggling our preferences, timings, exploring many different combinations and possible orders for our final list of pieces, we curated a program we are eager to prepare and perform.

Scheduled for October 19 at MATCH in downtown Houston, our finalized program, Mendelssohn to Maroney: ROCO Clarinetists Come of Age, includes works by Stravinsky, Michael Tenzer, Gary Schocker, Marcus Maroney, Béla Kovács, Felix Mendelssohn, Theresa Martin, and Amilcare Ponchielli.  We will be joined by the wonderful pianist, Colette Valentine for the Kovács, Mendelssohn and Ponchielli.  I’m already looking forward to performing this exciting program with these great friends and musicians!

“If you want to do really important things in life and big things in life, you can’t do anything by yourself.  And your best teams are your friends . . . . “

                                                                                                 —Deepak Chopra