Many thanks to all of you who
came out to our ClarinetFest performances last week in Lincoln, NE. We had a
wonderful time playing for you, seeing some old friends, and meeting some new
fans. Thanks so much for your support!
For those who missed it, here’s
a quick recap:
On Thursday, August 2, we had
the honor of performing as part of an all-star bass clarinet nonet with Karel Dohnal, Steve Hanusofski, Lee Livengood, Michael Lowenstern, Dennis Smylie, Stephan Vermeersch, and Gary Whitman.It was such a pleasure for us to
work with this fine group of bass clarinetists, many of whom we have long
admired from afar. The nonet performed two premieres: Sqwonk’s own Jonathan Russell’s Supra, and French composer Ghislain Hervet’s Headwinds, with David Krakauer as Bb Clarinet soloist. Krakauer tore it up as he always does, and both pieces went over very well with the enthusiastic audience.
Here we are rehearsing with David Krakauer and Ghislain Hervet conducting (Sauro Berti sitting in for Michael Lowenstern, who was getting ready for his own set that night).
Then on Friday, August 3, we performed two of our classics at the 1pm concert: Ryan Brown’s KNEE GAS (ON) and our arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. We were very happy that Ryan could be there in the audience to be acknowledged. Bach was unfortunately unable to make it.
Finally, it all culminated in
our performance Friday night of Jonathan Russell’s Bass Clarinet Double Concerto in a new arrangement for band. It was an honor to be featured on a concert alongside Robert Spring and some of the top clarinetists in the nation’s military bands, and it was absolutely thrilling to be up on stage at the Lied Center in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, floating on the energetic playing of the Omaha Symphonic Winds, rocking the concerto. A truly unforgettable experience!
Here we are with the other soloists after our encores of Flight of the Bumblebee and Guisganderie.
Many many thanks are due to
Diane Barger and her team for putting on a supremely well-organized festival,
and for giving us such wonderful performing opportunities. Thanks again to everyone who came to see us, and we hope to see you all soon!
Sqwonk heads to Lincoln, Nebraska next week for ClarinetFest2012. We're very excited to take part in this annual celebration of clarinet nerdity in all its diverse forms. And we're especially happy to get to be involved in three very different and uniquely awesome performances.
First, on Thursday evening (August 2), we'll be playing in two premieres for not one, not two, not four, not seven, not fifty-six, but NINE, that's right NINE bass clarinets! Sqwonk's own Jonathan Russell has composed a new piece for the nonet, inspired by Georgian folk music, called Supra, and French composer Ghislan Hervet has a new work called Headwinds, which in addition to the nonet, features classical/klezmer/everything virtuoso David Krakauer on solo Bb clarinet.
Then on Friday (August 3) afternoon at 1pm, we'll be doing a "solo" Sqwonk set on the "Horizons Highlights 5" concert. We'll perform two Sqwonk classics on this one: Ryan Brown's KNEE GAS (ON), and our arrangement of J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
Finally, on Friday evening, we are very honored to be featured on the festival's concertos concert, which this year is all double concertos. We'll be performing Jonathan Russell's Bass Clarinet Double Concerto with the Omaha Symphonic Winds in a brand new arrangement for wind band.
If you're coming to ClarinetFest, we hope you'll catch us at some or all of these performances. Please come say hi if you do!
We are excited to perform with masters of the low reed Marty Walker and Jon Raskin on Friday, March 30th at the Royce Gallery as part of Pamela Z's ROOM series. We'll be doing a short set of just Sqwonk, and then joining forces with our low and reedy colleagues. Plus, Pamela Z will work her laptopping magic on us all. Should be a good time, hope to see some of our Bay Area fans there!
Many thanks to all who came out for our recent set of Bay Area shows. We had a wonderful time performing for all of you. It was great to meet some new fans and re-connect with old ones. Many many thanks also to the wonderful performers we shared our shows with -- The Living Earth Show, Amy X Neuberg, Solstice, and Areon Flutes. We are delighted and honored to have such amazing musical colleagues!
The next thing on the horizon for us is ClarinetFest 2012 (August 1-5) in Lincoln, NB, where we'll be performing a new wind ensemble arrangement of Jon's Bass Clarinet Double Concerto. We'll also be part of an ensemble of nine bass clarinets premiering new works by Jon and by Ghislain Hervet, whose piece will feature David Krakauer as Bb clarinet soloist. Should be a great time!
Also, stay tuned for an update soon on plans for our next album!
We are looking forward to some Bay Area shows toward the end of January, sharing bills with three fantastic groups. Follow the links on our website to learn more about them. We hope to see many of our Bay Area friends and fans there!
In the meantime, check out this fun interview with Jon over at Kristen Mather's Clarineticus Intergalacticus blog.
Still looking for a last minute gift for the bass clarinet lover in your family? It's not (quite) too late to get one of our CDs or tee-shirts, just visit our store.
Wishing you all the best for a happy new year, Sqwonk
We here at Sqwonk are getting excited for our upcoming travels to Ithaca, NY. We'll be performing at Cornell on Sunday, October 30th, premiering a new piece by Amit Gilutz, and then at Ithaca College on Monday, October 31st. (Full details on our website) If you're in the area, come check us out!
Also, for any San Francisco Bay Area folks, Jeff will be playing my 2 bass clarinet-four hand piano piece Sqwonkzoforus Rex this Friday. I couldn't make it out for this one, but taking my place will be the fantastic Annie Phillips. It's part of the New Keys concert series, and is at Salle Pianos, 1632 C Market St., San Francisco, CA, at 8pm, Friday 10/28.