Recently, my Fan Page on Facebook
passed the 10,000-fan mark, maintaining it’s position as the #1 classical clarinetist page
on Facebook in the world and continuing to grow in popularity faster than ever. Thank you to all my friends, fans and supporters
for helping me to
reach this milestone!!
3rd International Clarinet Festival in Lima, Peru
From February 18 to 22, 2013, I will be one of the featured artists of the 3rd International Clarinet Festival in Lima and Cusco, Peru, and I will judge the First National Clarinet Competition of Peru. The other featured artists/judges are Gabor Varga (Hungary), Karel Dohnal (Czech Republic), Jean-Francois Bescond (France), and Alcides Rodriguez (Venezuela). The festival is organized by Luis Enrique Vargas Guevara, principal clarinetist of the National Symphony Orchestra in Lima, Peru. For more information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org see the Facebook Page, or see the website.
Tour of China
From March 13 to 25, 2013, I will be touring once again in China visiting several cities. More details to come soon!
The First Xativa International Clarinet Festival
From December 26 to 30, 2012, I was in Xativa once again, but this time at the First Xativa International Clarinet Festival, which also included piano lessons by my stellar pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite. I taught lessons, masterclasses, and played a recital there including the BrahmsSonata No. 1 and Schumann Intermezzo from FAE Sonata. For more information on the festival in both English and Spanish, check out this Facebook page and this Facebook event or send email to the festival here. Video and pictures from the event will be posted soon!
Tour of Hungary
From November 24 to 30, 2012, I toured Hungary playing concerts with my wonderful pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite and teaching masterclasses in Budapest, Miskolc, and Debrecen. The concerts and masterclasses took place at the beautiful Liszt Academy in Budapest, the Bartok Conservatory in Miskolc and the University of Debrecen. This was my first time to Hungary and it certainly won't be my last! In Budapest, we had the great honor of playing and teaching in the beautiful concert hall of the old building at the Franz Liszt Academy, which now houses a Liszt Museum and other organizations dedicated to the history of Franz Liszt. Our concert program in Hungary included Prokofiev Sonata in D Major, Op. 94, SchumannFantasiestucke, Op. 73, Widor Introduction et Rondo, Op. 72, and Bassi Fantasy on themes from Verdi's "Rigoletto".
The students there were wonderful and the goulash was amazing! Check out pictures on my Facebook page.
Physics Lecture at Harvard!
Iknew my physics degree from Harvard would come in handy some day! Actually, I use my physics background every day in my teaching and playing of the clarinet, chamber music, conducting, recording and really all aspects of music making. So I was very excited when I was recently invited to give a guest lecture at Harvard on Monday, November 19, 2012 on the topic of musical instruments and physics! The unexpected invitation came from world-renowned Professor Eric Mazur (Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics and Area Dean of Applied Physics) and Preceptor Carolann Koleci (formerly Director of Physics Education and Assistant Professor of Physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute) who have developed an innovative new undergraduate course (AP50) together using the Peer Instruction method that Mazur pioneered starting in 1990 and now is used worldwide in many science disciplines.
In first-semester AP50, there are no formal lectures and no traditional examinations. Instead, introductory physics concepts are motivated and learned through three, one-month-long, team-based projects: Rube Goldberg Machines, Mission to Mars, and Musical Instruments. For an interesting blog-post on “Applied Physics 50: Physics as a Foundation for Science” click here, and for an informative story from the Harvard Crimson published September 5, 2012, check out Applied Physics 50 Offers Innovative Teaching Style.
Everything went well and a great time was had by all! I really brushed up on my PowerPoint skills at the same time. Thank you again to Prof. Mazur and Preceptor Koleci!
Audition Preparation Masterclass for Winds
On Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 7:00 pm, I gave students insights into how to prepare for and take successful auditions. The class was aimed at preparing students to audition for college, All-State, Districts, Middle-Level Honor Band, or even school band seating challenges. I heard four great kids playing flute, saxophone, and clarinet. The school is founded run by its energetic, talented, dedicated and generally wonderful Director and flute teacher Trisha Craig.
It was nice to see all of you who joined me at the Boston Conservatory Single Reed Symposium on Sunday, October 14, 2012. I gave a masterclass focusing on the Debussy Première Rhapsodie and then played a short recital with pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite in conjunction with a presentation by Vandoren, which is one of my sponsors and a sponsor of the festival. Our program included BrahmsSonata in F Minor, Op. 120, No. 1 and Sargon KlezMuzik. The two-day festival was filled with masterclasses, performances, vendor presentations, and exhibits for both saxophone and clarinet and a great time was had by all. Other artists who performed and taught at the festival included Michael Lowenstern, Lee Livengood, Ken Radnofsky, Chien-Kwan Lin, Eric Hewitt, and Michael Norsworthy.
July 8 to 14, 2012, I was back in beautiful Xativa, Spain teaching
at the 4º Curso Internacional
de Musica Ciutat de Xàtiva. The festival was a 7-day intensive event, lead
by Fran Moral, founder of Saetebis Music Society, and once again, the clarinet studio was completely full. Check out Fran's pictures
here and my pictures here.
During the summer, it is 37 or 38 degrees Celsius nearly every
day in Xàtiva, which is one of the hottest places in Spain!
The students range in age from 14 to 50. For the latest scoop on past and future Xativa festivals, see the group on Facebook!
From July 15 to 22, 2012, we held the 7th edition of the International Woodwind Festival and all available student slots were completely full!! IWWF 2012 faculty included Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Solo Clarinetist Wenzel Fuchs, former Simon Bolivar Orchestra principal clarinetist Jorge Montilla, soloist and instrument maker Yuan Gao, Cynthia Doggett and yours truly. This year IWWF was held again in Pella, Iowa.
The IWWF Young Artists Competition included cash and equipment prizes from sponsors totalling more than $2000 and was judged by our prestigious faculty members. The First Prize winner was Saul Sanchez Zea from Mexico; the Second Prize winner was Micah Wright from the USA; and there were two Third Prize winners: Luis Enrique Vargas Guevara of Peru, and Omar Ho of Canada. Another first featured at this years festival was live streaming of masterclasses and concerts. For photos of IWWF 2012 click here.
The festival was packed full of lessons, masterclasses, 5 faculty concerts, pianists, 2 student concerts, the international competition and loads of fun times! I hope you can join us next year for IWWF 2013!
On April 2, 2012, The Boston Musical Intelligencer just published a great review of my performance of Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie at Sanders Theatre in Boston! Reviewer Fred Bouchard wrote, “Clarinettist Jonathan Cohler played like a Bird of Paradise, in hushed sylvan calls and response and airing delicate accelerando/rubato licks; his occasional sostenuti hang seductively, dewdrops on a Venus flytrap.” For the complete review click here.
Debussy Première Rhapsodie in Sanders Theatre
n April 1, 2012, I had the pleasure of playing Claude Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie with the Boston Conservatory Orchestra,
conducted by Bruce Hangen,
at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. The Boston Musical Intelligencer review of the concert said, “Clarinettist Jonathan Cohler played like a Bird of Paradise...”! For the complete review, click here.
The program also included pianist Max Levinson playing Debussy’s Fantasie for Piano and Orchestra and
saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky playing Debussy’s Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, in addition to performances by the orchestra of
Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 “Haffner” and Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole.
You can see the full program with program notes here.
From March 9 to 19, 2012, I was on tour in China playing concerts and teaching masterclasses at conservatories in Tianjin, Shenyang, and Beijing. I was also honored to be the first foreigner ever to teach masterclasses for the Military Band of the People's Liberation Army of China.At the Tianjin Conservatory, I played a recital and taught masterclasses for the students of Professors Xie and Zhang; at the Shenyang Conservatory, I played a recital and taught masterclasses for students of Professor Dong; and in Beijing at the China Conservatory, I taught masterclasses for the students of Professor He. Pictures to come soon here and on Facebook.
NEW VIDEO: Schumann Intermezzo
This piece is very special to me. Robert Schumann's music exudes such beauty and such genius with so much concision and power; it has become a very important part of our repertoire. My amazing pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite and I often love to play this piece as an encore. I hope you enjoy it!
Topping the Charts!
n Friday, January 6, 2012, my CD The Clarinet Alone was right near the top in Indie Music Classical (#10) and Clarinet (#12) on Amazon! It moved up to #2 on the Messiaen list and #1 on both the Persichetti list and the von Koch list! Moonflowers, Baby! also moved up to #44 for Clarinet and #36 for Vaughan Williams! At the same time, More Cohler on Clarinet is now in the top 100 for Schumann (mistakenly shown as English Horn!). Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time have retained their status in their respective lists for a long time now. Thank you to all my fans and friends for making this possible!
Happy New Year to all my friends and fans! Wishing you all a joyous and prosperous 2012. Two new YouTube videos are out: "Black Dog" by Scott McAllister and the Copland Clarinet Concerto. I hope these bring a smile to your face and make your heart beat a little faster!!
Black Dog at Boston Conservatory’s New Theatre
n December 8, 2011 I played Scott McAllister’s Black Dog with the Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble,
conducted by Eric Hewitt at the school’s new Theatre
in the brand new performance complex at the school.
It was a great experience working with Eric and the wind ensemble. Here is the video from the concert, so in case you missed the concert, you can watch in hi-fidelity HD 720p at home through the magic of technology and YouTube!
If you are a Led Zeppelin fan, you'll enjoy it even more as the work is loosely based on themes
from their song Black Dog (1971).
The piece highlights just about everything a clarinet can do, with some of the fastest and wildest playing in the repertoire, reaching from
the clarinet's lowest notes up in to the stratosphere, wailing, crying, sobbing and rejoicing with some hauntingly
beautiful melodies along the way.
I was also very excited and honored to play on this program, which was in honor of the 86th birthday of one of
Scott McAllister's most influential teacher's, Gunther Schuller, the Pulitzer Prize winning
composer, conductor, former President of NEC, and former Director of the Tanglewood Music Center.
Gunther was in attendance with smiles on for his 86th.
Hommage to Ben Armato at Copland House
n November 20, 2011, I played in a special private performance in honor of Ben Armato
at the Copland House in Cortlandt Manor, New York.
My amazing pianist Rasa Vitkauskaite and I performed two of our favorite pieces
in honor of Ben who has been a wonderful inspiration to
so many clarinetists and musicians including myself: WidorIntroduction et Rondo and SargonKlezMuzik.
Also featured on the performance were jazz clarinetist Derek Bermel,
New York Met clarinetists Jessica Phillips and James Ognebene,
Hong Kong Philharmonic principal clarinetist Andrew Michael Simon, and Morrie Sherry.
Ben Armato played clarinet in the New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1953 to 1988. Ben has edited several books and invented several
important products in the clarinet world. He has been a dedicated teacher to numerous lucky clarinet students for many decades. For more
information on Ben and his work, click here. The event was organized
by Ben's close friend of 62 years, David Dworkin, and also featured a presentation by Larry Guy,
on behalf of the International Clarinet Association,
bestowing Ben with the ICA's highest honor: the lifetime membership. The whole event was a moving and special experience, and I am very honored to
have been a small part of it.
Concert on Nantucket
n August 3, 2011, I played a recital on Nantucket with the wonderful composer,
pianist, conductor and educator Simon
Sargon. One of the pieces on the program was Simon's KlezMusiK (listen
to a live recording here
on my website), which he wrote for me nearly 20 years ago! The program also included BrahmsSonata No. 1, SargonDeep Ellum Nights and BassiRigoletto. The concert was held at
the Coffin School. The audience and reception were wonderful and the hospitality of
Harris and Esta Lee Stone was magnificent. What a treat it was to work with such a brilliant
composer as Simon Sargon.
Xativa, Spain 2011
July 10 to 17, 2011, I was back in beautiful Xativa, Spain teaching
at the 3er Curso Internacional
de Musica Ciutat de Xàtiva. The festival was a 7-day intensive event lead
by Fran Moral, founder of Saetebis Music Society. The festival takes
place in Xàtiva, Spain and is amazing! The pictures from this year's festival are
here on Facebook.
During the summer, it is 37 or 38 degrees Celsius nearly every
day in Xàtiva, which is one of the hottest places in Spain!
There were 20 students in the clarinet studio this year, all wonderful. My colleague Rafa Albert Soler and
I had a wonderful time working with the students who ranged in age from 14 to 50.
rom June 14 to 24, 2011, I was on tour with the Youth
Philharmonic Orchestra of New England Conservatory. I am the longtime Assistant
Conductor of the orchestra. The orchestra played fantastic concerts in Prague, Bratislava
and Vienna. The repertoire included MahlerSymphony No. 9, which was
performed to a packed house at the Musikverein in Vienna followed by a lengthy and
well-deserved, but rare in Venna, standing ovation! Other repertoire for the tour
included DvorakSymphony No. 9 and RavelLa Valse. Check
out my pictures of the tour on Facebook here,
and for a great story describing the Musikverein experience click
rom June 1 to 10, 2011 I was on tour to the far east teaching masterclasses and
playing concerts in Seoul, Korea and Beijing, China. In Korea, I worked with students
of Im Soo Lee, Jeong Min Song, and Dongjin Kim. In Beijing, I worked with students
of Fan Lei at the Central Conservatory.
As usual the students were amazing and the food was great! Check out the pictures on
Copland Concerto with Bach Society Orchestra
n Friday, April 22, 2011, I played the Copland Concerto with the Harvard
Bach Society Orchestra. It was their final concert of the season, the final
concert of two-year Music
Director Yuga Cohler (who is a close relation of mine) and our first concert
together with Yuga on the podium!
It was a very special event for me and Yuga, and
it couldn't have turned out any better. Many dear friends, students and family were
all in attendance to share this once-in-a-lifetime moment, and we were very touched
and thankful to have so much wonderful support. For pictures of the event, check
out my Facebook page here,
and you can see the performance by just clicking on the video above.
European Clarinet Festival & Competition
major new clarinet competition and festival took place in Kortrijk, Belgium from
October 30 to November 7, 2010! I taught masterclasses, played the Weber
Quintet with the Ciurlionis Quartet from Lithuania, and
judged the huge new international competition there on a very prestigious panel
including myself, Karl Leister, Stanley Drucker, Koichi Hamanaka, Eddy Vanoosthuyse,
Antonio Saoite, Fan Lei, Robert Spring, Valdemar Rodriguez, Mattias Müller,
and James Gillespie. As part of the same event, the European Clarinet Association
was officially formed, and the first European Clarinet Festival took place from
November 4 to 7, 2010. Click
here for festival and competition information.
The jury and prizes offered were the largest of any clarinet competition in the
world. It is planned to happen every two years going forward. I had a great
time drinking beer and sharing stories with clarinet legends Karl Leister and
Stanley Drucker and the other panel members. The entire event was organized
by Eddy Vanoosthuyse and was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
Pictures coming soon.
Hommage à Schumann
n Friday, October 15, 2010 we had an exciting evening featuring works of Robert
& Clara SCHUMANN, BRAHMS, LISZT, and SCHUBERT performed by yours truly, soprano
Jayne West, and pianists Robert
Merfeld and Rasa Vitkauskaite
at Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music. Program details here.
Stay tuned for video and audio clips from the concert.
MusicWeb International Recording of the Month
Moonflowers, Baby! was chosen as Recording of the Month in October 2010 by MusicWeb
International. To see the full review, click here.
The reviewer said, "The performance is stunning...with charm and deep inner
feeling...Cohler plays as if he owned the piece, with deep understanding and supreme
musicality. 'An absolute knockout recording', as the composer himself declared...I
cannot find any weakness in this disc...from head to toes, this is probably the
most satisfying clarinet disc I've heard in quite a time...Sensitive, subtle, beautiful,
refined - a moonflower, baby!"
rom July 21 to July 25, 2010, I was in Austin, Texas at the annual mega-gathering of clarinetists
from all over the world, ClarinetFest
2010. I played the ProkofievSonata in D Major, Op. 94
there with Colette Valentine in McCullough Theatre, which is in the Performing
Arts Center at University of Texas, Austin. I had a great time visiting with
friends from the world over including my old pal Michael Drapkin from Tanglewood
days, who hosted a wonderful party at his lovely new home, and my good friend from
Taiwan, Bill Chen of the Taipei Symphony. Bill brought a large entourage of students
to the event, and I gave a special masterclass just for them.
taught and conducted the orchestra at the 2°
Curso Internacional de Musica Ciutat de Xàtiva from July 4 to 10, 2010. The
festival is a 7-day intensive event lead by Fran Moral & Jordi Fuster, founders
of Saetebis Music Society. The festival takes place in Xàtiva, Spain and
it was amazing! I posted pictures on Facebook here.
I'll choose the best ones and post them here soon. It was 37 or 38 degrees every
day in Xàtiva, which is one of the hottest places in Spain! I did get to
visit the castle at the top of the hill and it was beautiful! I conducted the orchestra
there in a performance of DvorakSymphony No. 9 "From the New
World". The festival also included included performances by the saxophone ensemble,
clarinet ensemble, percussion ensemble, string quartet, and piano flamenco!! Great
performances all around! And the clarinet students were amazing! I will miss Xàtiva!
IWWF 2010, Pella, Iowa
he International Woodwind Festival
2010 in Pella, Iowa took place from June 20 to 27! IWWF this year featured
renowned Belgian soloist and teacher Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Central College professor
of clarinet Cynthia Doggett,
along with yours truly Jonathan Cohler, as well as pianists Rasa Vitkauskaite,
and Shizue Sano.
From March 22 to 25, 2010, I performed and taught at the 1er Encuentro de Clarinete 2010 in March at the
National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, Mexico. The program for my recital
GuastavinoTonada FranckSonata in A Major SchumannFantasy Pieces, Op. 73 PoulencSonata
As usual my pianist was the wonderful Rasa
Vitkauskaite! Click on the poster to the left for more information on the festival.
The salsa dancing in Mexico City was great!
Messiaen with Claremonts
fter Caracas, I headed straight out to Logan, Utah where I played a performance
of the MessaienQuartet for the End of Time and the BeethovenTrio in B-flat Major, Op. 11 with the renowned Claremont
Trio on the concert series of the Chamber
Music Society of Logan. The concert was at 7:30pm on November 18, 2009 in the
Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall on the campus of Utah
Simon Bolivar Orchestra
rom November 1 to November 15, 2009 I was in Caracas, Venezuela conducting the Simon
Bolivar Orchestra, playing a recital with Rasa
Vitkauskaite, and performing the Morton GouldDerivations
with the Simon Bolivar Big Band in honor of Benny Goodman's 100th birthday.
The orchestra concert included Beethoven Symphony No. 6, Arismendi
Concerto, Ravel La Valse, and CoriglianoConcerto,
and it took place on Saturday, November 7 at 5:00pm in Simon Bolivar Hall at
the Centro de Acción Social por la Música in Caracas. The Facebook
event page is HERE.
Our recital on Monday, November 9 at 6:30pm in Concert Hall No. 2 of the Centro
de Acción Social por la Música in Caracas included Schumann
Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105, MartinuSonatina, BernsteinSonata, and BassiRigoletto. The Facebook event page is
The Morton Gould performance was on Sunday, November 8 at 5:00pm at the
Humboldt Cultural Association in Caracas.
have just published a few recent articles of mine on the web. You are welcome
and invited to read them! Although they are published as "Notes" attached
to my Facebook "Fan Page", you CAN read them without being a member
of Facebook. If you would like to add comments to those pages (which are always
welcome!), however, you must be a member and logged into Facebook. These three articles
come from my recent CD Jonathan
Cohler & Claremont Trio:
I hope you enjoy them and would certainly appreciate any feedback that you may have!
ur new CD Romanza should be back from the factory by the end of April. Stay
rom August 17 to 25, 2009 we were in China, where I was one of the featured artists
at the International Clarinet and Saxophone Festival in Taiyuan, playing
the same recital with Rasa and teaching masterclasses. We visited an ancient city
an hour away from Taiyuan in Shanxi Province and then in Beijing, we saw Tiananmen
Square, The Great Wall (at Badaling), and the Forbidden City. The students in China
are amazing! We look forward to our next trip back there.
n August 13, 2009 at 2:30pm, Rasa
Vitkauskaite and I played a recital at the beautiful Casa da Musica in Porto
as part of the International Clarinet
Association's ClarinetFest. The program
included Schumann Sonata in A Minor, Op. 105 (from our
coming CD Romanza), Wilson Liquid Ebony,
Messager Solo de Concours (from our award-winning CD Rhapsodie
Francaise), Arnold Sonatina, and
Lovreglio Fantasy on Themes from "La Traviata".
The Facebook event
is here. Then at 9:30am on August 14, I taught an open masterclass at the Conservatory
of Music in Porto. I also judged the final round of the International Clarinet Association's
Young Artist Competition.
Luckily, we had a little bit of free time, so we were able to check out the beaches
in Espinho and Matosinho where we also ate some great seafood!
"The Boston-based clarinetist Jonathan Cohler always seems to put on a good
show, and he does here...Cohler and his collaborators have a professionalism
and artistic commitment that is difficult to match... While there will never
be a shortage of recordings of the Beethoven and Brahms trios for clarinet,
cello, and piano, these renditions by Cohler, Kwong, and Julia Bruskin may rank
among the best. The Beethoven sparkles with daring tempos, driving intensity,
and a highly expressive lyricism... The Brahms, too, is deeply moving...the
Dohnanyi... Cohler and his colleagues make it a treat to hear, finding a remarkable
balance between contrapuntal clarity and late romantic fire."
ur CD Jonathan Cohler &
Claremont Trio was awarded the BBC Music CHOICE distinction in the
May 2009 issue of BBC Music Magazine, the world's best-selling classical
music magazine. Giving the CD a top rating of 5-stars for Performance, reviewer
Anthony Burton lauded our:
"spirited, stylish account of Beethoven's early Trio, and a performance of the
late Trio by Brahms which generates real intensity through subdued dynamics,
eloquent phrasing and responsive teamwork...altogether a splendidly enjoyable
programme, with Cohler's extensive notes...an interesting bonus."
Minnesota Public Radio
he CD was also recently featured on Minnesota
Public Radio's Classical Tracks in a story by Julie Amacher. Minnesota
Public Radio® is one of the nation's premier public radio organizations.
With headquarters in the heart of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota Public Radio operates
a regional network of 38 stations, covering Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, the
Dakotas, Michigan, Iowa and Idaho. With 850,000 listeners each week, it has the
largest audience of any regional public radio network.
"This CD is the sixth solo recording released by Cohler and adds to the
growing list of definitive interpretations he has made of major works from the
"Jonathan Cohler is an acclaimed
soloist and chamber musician. He has been heard in concerts around the world.
His many recordings have been lauded by publications including the American
Record Guide, BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone... His collaborator in this
recording is Lithuanian-born pianist Rasa
Vitkauskaite. Initially trained in Vilnius, and later in Italy and at
the Boston Conservatory, she has won top prizes at international piano competitions
including the Rubinstein, Les Rencontres Internationales des Jeunes Pianistes
and the Mendelssohn Cup.
The success of the collaboration of these two world-class artists
is unquestionable and on vivid display throughout this CD. The duo's performances
achieve an ideal blend of elegance, delicacy, and joie de vivre. The listener
is struck by the easy virtuosity and inherent musicality of every performance,
and by the sensitivity and subtlety of Cohler and Vitkauskaite's ensemble
"...flawless...dazzling...sensitivity and grace...sparkling
performances...Rhapsodie Francaise is a CD worthy of any
Some of the other artists chosen for the honor include Yo-Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti,
Helene Grimaud, Gustavo Dudamel with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
with the London Symphony Orchestra, Pierre Fournier, Leonid Kogan, Mstislav
Rostropovitch, Emil Gilels, and James Galway.
he July/August 2009 issue of Fanfare Magazine contains a nice recommendation of my
recording of the HindemithSonata and HoneggerSonatina
recordings on Moonflowers,
Baby! as their preferred recordings of the works! Check out the full Fanfare
review here in their online archives (subscription required).
Boston Conservatory Recital
t the end of March 2009, Rasa and I returned from a wonderful tour of Asia where we played
concerts in Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Shanghai and Tokyo. Our following recital at Seully Hall in Boston included
much of the music that we played on tour plus some other pieces. The concert also
included two pieces from our CD Rhapsodie Francaise which just received a great write-up in the March/April
issue of Fanfare Magazine(subscription required).
This is the tour poster made our top sponsor Gao's Royal Musical Collection.
Hope you like it!.
On Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 7pm, I played a recital with Rasa Vitkauskaite
in Pickman Hall at The Longy School. Here is a video clip
of one of our favorite pieces from the concert! For more info, check out the Facebook
event page here.
We also played live on WGBH radio on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 3pm on the show Classical
Performances hosted by Richard
Knisely. If you missed, the show, you can listen to it here.
NEW CD with Claremont Trio!
y new CD Jonathan Cohler
& Claremont Trio(Ongaku 024-122) is out! You can listen to sound clips
on the Ongaku Records website and place orders for the disc now! This CD was made
in collaboration with the renowned Claremont
Trio and includes the Brahms and Beethoven trios and the Dohnanyi Sextet
with violist Mai Motobuchi (of the Borromeo Quartet) and hornist James Sommerville
(of the Boston Symphony Orchestra).
Simon Bolivar Symphonic Band
rom December 2 to 6, 2008, I spent an exciting week conducting the Simon Bolivar
Symphonic Band, and teaching masterclasses for the Clarinet Academy of Simon Bolivar
University. With the band we did an exhilirating performance of Bernstein's Slava!,
Ives' Variations on America, Copland's El Salon Mexico, John Williams'
Star Wars Trilogy, Holst's Mars and Jupiter from The Planets,
and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol. The already short rehearsal schedule
of 5 days, was shortened to 4 when airplane delays caused me to miss my connections
to Caracas! Despite that and the huge difficulty of the program, the group gave
a stellar performance! The musical spirit and talent in Venezuela is just electrifying.
I'll definitely be headed back there again soon!!
NEW CD Rhapsodie Française
y CD, Rhapsodie Française,
is out, and it includes most of the core repertoire of the "French school."
The pianist on the CD is an amazing young multiple prize winning Lithuanian pianist
named Rasa Vitkauskaite. She and
I are planning to make several more CDs in the coming seasons. It is already available
for orders on the Ongaku Records website
as well as from Amazon and CD Baby among others.
NEW Live Audio
posted MP3's of several of my recent live performances on my Recordings page. Click
here or access "Recordings" in the menu above.
Iowa Clarinet Day
n September 2008, I was the featured artist at the Iowa
Clarinet Day 2008. It was my first trip to Iowa and I had a great time! Pianist
Vitkauskaite joined me in a recital there on September 6, and I also taught
several masterclasses at both Drake University
in Des Moines and Central College in Pella.
Visiting Pella was like walking on a movie set! What a beautiful place, and the
students were wonderful. Thanks go to Cynthia Doggett and Clarence Padilla for organizing
such a wonderful event!!
ClarinetFest, Kansas City
n July 2008, I performed a duo recital with Howard
Klug at the ClarinetFest
in Kansas City, Missouri. We premiered several new works for two clarinets and piano
in various combinations. The new works included a great new duo by Simon
Sargon called "Birds of a Feather.." for two A clarinets. Two other
premieres included Don FreundRite Now! and Michael KibbeShiva Dances (both for clarinet, bass clarinet and piano). It
was a great pleasure to collaborate once again with renowned pedagogue and performer
Howard Klug who played some amazing bass clarinet! See
n June 2008, I taught and performed at the beautiful Domaine
Forget festival in St. Irenée, Quebec. The students there were wonderful,
the festival was expertly managed and organized and all of my colleagues were world
class! I spent a wonderful week teaching along side Marie
Picard and Lawrie Bloom. While there
I also had the great opportunity to perform StockhausenIn Freundschaft on a special Stockhausen memorial concert. That
was a special treat. My last night there I had the great privilege of hearing the
phenomenal pianist Gabriela Montero play
several breathtakingly beautiful and amazing improvisations based on themes offered
from the audience. Wow! I will remember that forever. Lawrie, Marie and I had a
great time working together both in teaching clarinet and winning at ping pong!
And Marie Picard was the most gracious host ever!
Simon Bolivar Symphonic Band
n November 2007, I was in Caracas, Venezuela for 10 days. While there I conducted
a wonderful performance of the Simon Bolivar Symphonic Band playing
RespighiPines of Rome and ShostakovichSymphony No. 5 Finale, as well as the Rimsky-KorsakovClarinet Concerto with soloist Jorge Montilla and several other works.
I also taught masterclasses every day as part of the new Masters Degree program
in clarinet of the Universidad Simon Bolivar. Pictures of the band, soloists, me,
the students, my masterclasses and the dancing afterwards are all here!
n October 7, 2007, I played a faculty recital at the Longy School of Music. Joining
me on the program was a fabulous young piano trio with Judith Lee (violin), Tess
Remy-Schumacher (cello) and Christopher Cooley (piano). A few pictures from the
reception after the concert are here.
Campos do Jordao
n July 2007, I taught and performed at the International Winter Festival of Campos
do Jordao, Brazil where the weather was cooler than last year (sometimes as
low as 32 degrees F at night) but when it was beautiful and sunny in the day time,
it was more like ~75 degrees F. I had six wonderful fellowship students there from
Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Costa Rica. I conducted a performance of the Dvorak
Serenade for Winds, Op. 44. Here are the 200+
pictures I took while there.
n June 30, 2007, I returned from a two-and-a-half-week tour of China with the Youth
Philharmonic Orchestra of NEC. As always, this YPO tour was a thrilling experience
for all involved. The orchestra played 12 concerts in 14 days in 10 cities! We visited
Beijing, Shichiazhuang, Tianjin, Shenyang, Anshan, Yingkou, Chongqing, Suzhou, Ningbo,
and Shanghai. I took more than 600 pictures of the tour, so you can see them and
make prints from snapfish.com by
The clarinet faculty included yours truly, Valdemar Rodriguez (Simon Bolivar
Orchestra), Jessica Philipps (New York Metropolitan Opera), Robert Spring (soloist),
and Michael Norsworthy (soloist, Boston Conservatory). We also had the brilliant,
young Claremont Trio in residence
and three fabulous pianists: Shizue Sano,
Eliko Akahori, and Yoko Kida.
Here's a live performance of me with the Claremont
Trio playing the sixth
Bruch piece! From left to right, that's Julie Bruskin (cello), Emily Bruskin
(violin), me, and Donna Kwong (piano).
isten to this live recording of me and Paquito D'Rivera playing his piece Contradanza
from Paquito's Aires Tropicales Suite. Alon Yavnai is the formidable pianist.
See if you can tell which one is Paquito and which one is me!
Fischoff Competition 2007
n May 2007, I took seven groups that I coach to compete in both the Junior and Senior
Divisions of the Fischoff Competition. All seven
made the Quarterfinals, three made the Semifinals and one of my groups, Attacca
Quartet, won 3rd Prize in the Junior Division! For pictures of the trip, click
Simon Bolivar Orchestra
n April 2007, I had an wonderful time in Caracas conducting the Simon Bolivar Orchestra!
We did Bernstein's West Side Story Suite of Symphonic Dances to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of that revolutionary, one-of-a-kind musical. Pictures
here. Video clips to come. Stay tuned!
t the beginning of March 2007, I was featured at the 10th International Clarinet
Festival of Lisbon. The festival was held in a beautiful palace, so I guess
we got the "royal" treatment! As always, the seafood was delicious, and
although the weather was unseasonably cold the performances by artists from all
over the world were wonderful. I got a chance to collaborate with the superb Lisbon
Clarinet Quartet on "Aires Tropicales" by Paquito D'Rivera and
with Jessica Phillips
of the New York Metropolitan Opera orchestra (and a former student) on "Il
Covegno" by Amilcare Ponchielli. My wonderful pianist was Aniko Harangi. Pictures
n February 2007, Shanghai was an eye-opener once again. The rate of construction
and growth in that city and at the Conservatory is simply phenomenal. The clarinet
students there are uniformly excellent, and as always the food is delectable and
plentiful. Masterclasses almost every day plus rehearsals and a recital made for
a busy time. But I was very happy to play together with my former student Izumi
Fujiyama who has developed into first-rate professional. My excellent pianist was
Xie Beni. Pictures from Shanghai
Texas All-State Orchestra
n January 2007, I had a transformational experience conducting the Texas All-State
Orchestra in an incredible performance of DvorakCarneval Overture
and BartokConcerto for Orchestra. What great people and what unbridled
energy and talent! That was my first experience with a standing ovation following
Campos do Jordao
ee my photos from the 2006 Festival
Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordão in Brazil. I was there for
a very exciting three weeks in July of masterclasses, conducting and concerts. I
played the MozartConcerto with the orchestra from Santo André
and the MozartQuintet as well as the MartinuNonet.
ead the great story from The Enterprise on Sunday, April 23, 2006 here.
Simon Bolivar Orchestra
n January 2006, I was inCaracas,
Venezuela, where I conducted ShostakovichSymphony No. 5 with
the Orquesta Sinfonica Simon Bolivar. Wow what an orchestra! The musical spirit
in Venezuela is absolutely incredible. I also played a recital and taught several
ClarinetFest, Tama, Tokyo
n summer 2005, I was in Japan and Taiwan
where it was really hot! From July 16 to July 24, I was in Tama, Tokyo at the ClarinetFest
and from July 30 to August 5, I was in Taipei at The 2nd International Clarinet
Festival of Taiwan where I played the Copland Concerto with the Evergreen
Symphony Orchestra at the National Concert Hall of Taiwan, a gorgeous hall.
YPO Venezuela Tour
n June 2005, I went on a tour of Venezuela
and Brazil with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of New England Conservatory.
heck out the video clip here from the Brockton Symphony Orchestra performance
of the Rite of Spring in spring 2005 at Jordan Hall!
n March 2005, I was in Lisbon, Portugal.where
the cod fish was great, and the people were even better! While there I performed
and taught as part of the 8th International Clarinet Encounter of Lisbon.
n November 2004, I was in Caracas, Venezuela
where I performed and taught at the 6th Festival de Jóvenes Clarinetistas
Argentina and China
uring the summer of 2004, I spent a week in Argentina and two weeks in China playing
concerts, teaching, and conducting in Rosario,
Buenos Aires, Yantai,
and Changchun. Pictures from Buenos Aires. Pictures from festival in Yantai. Pictures from festival in Changchun, China.
The site is updated regularly so stop by again soon!