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Famous Clarinet Players

Famous clarinet players

Many people have been inspired by other clarinet players to start learning the clarinet. Many clarinetists, both students and professionals, continually study the great players of the past and present, hoping that some of their virtuosic ability might be learned. Whether you are interested in jazz or classical music, there are many great players to motivate your clarinet playing.

One of the most famous clarinetists of all time was Benny Goodman. Credited with being one of the initiators of the Swing Era, Goodman was both a highly talented player, and a band leader of great renown. Another player of the same era, who was also a talented clarinetist and band leader, was Artie Shaw. There are never ending arguments over who is supreme in the world of clarinet jazz, with both players having diehard fans. This does not mean that a clarinetist can take something away from listening to both!

Many of the great composers of clarinet music were inspired by exceptional players: Mozart and Anton Stadler, Beethoven and Joseph Friedlowsky, Weber and Heinrich Baermann. Brahms even gave up the idea of retiring from composing so that he could write for the virtuosic clarinetist Richard Muhlfield. This tradition continues through to the present day, with composers often writing pieces for specific clarinetists that have inspired them.

Great modern players include Richard Stoltzman, a player equally comfortable playing classical or jazz music and responsible for commissioning some important modern compositions for clarinet, and Dame Thea King who has premiered much British music for clarinet.


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About the Author:

written by Natalia Forrest


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