The Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series opens its 2009-10 season with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman and pianist Yehudi Wyner. The duo will appear Friday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. in Hudson Hall in the Rogers Music Center at Willamette University, and Stoltzman will present a free master class for clarinetists Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m., also in Hudson Hall.
Stoltzman's virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of the world's most sought-after concert artists. As solo recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with more than a hundred orchestras, the two-time Grammy Award winner defies categorization, dazzling critics and audiences throughout many musical genres, including jazz and classical.
Stoltzman's unique style of playing the clarinet has earned him an international reputation and opened up possibilities for the instrument no one could have predicted. The innovative artist gave the first clarinet recital in the history of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and his commitment to new music has resulted in the commissioning of numerous new works for the clarinet. Stoltzman is also a founding member of the noted ensemble TASHI, which made its debut in 1973. He has more than 50 releases, including a Grammy-winning recording of Johannes Brahms' sonatas.
The San Francisco Chronicle called Stoltzman the "a national treasure" and "the greatest clarinetist of the century," and The Washington Post said he "is an artist of indescribable genius ... a musician of flawless taste, one with few rivals anywhere on any instrument."
"What a clarinetist!" wrote The San Francisco Examiner. "He brings more variety to three notes than most musicians bring to an entire repertoire."
"His recent appearance at the Metropolitan Museum felt more like a party, or a highly polished jam session with a few friends, than a classical concert," wrote the Wall Street Journal.
Stoltzman will be joined by pianist and composer Yehudi Wyner, who has been keyboard artist for the Bach Aria Group since 1968 and has also appeared as a solo pianist and chamber musician. His recording of "The Mirror" won a 2005 Grammy Award.
Wyner has composed more than 60 works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and solo voice and instruments, including compositions for the theatre and worship settings. His piano concerto "Chiavi in mano" won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and his "Horntrio" was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998.
Stoltzman and Wyner will perform works by Brahms, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and George Gershwin, as well as Wyner's "Commedia."
Tickets are $10 for education employees with ID; $10, $15 or $20 for adults; and $5 for students, and are available at Travel Salem, at 181 High Street NE in downtown Salem, or (503) 581-4325. To order tickets go to www.absolutelytix.com. For more information call the Willamette Music Department at (503) 370-6255 or visit www.salemchamberorchestra.org. Learn more about Stoltzman at www.franksalomon.com and Wyner at www.yehudiwyner.com.
Now in its 26th season, the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series brings world-renowned musicians to Salem several times each year. Directed by music Professor Anita King, the program is supported through an endowment established by The Collins Foundation in the 1990s to honor the late Grace Goudy, an original trustee of the foundation. The Stoltzman/Wyner concert is co-sponsored by Willamette University and the Salem Chamber Orchestra.
The series will continue Nov. 15 with classical guitarist Xuefei Yang and April 11 with the Brentano String Quartet.