Margaret Thornhill coaches participant David Beech
Artistic Director and clarinet coach Margaret Thornhill made her New York Recital Debut at Merkin Concert Hall in 1980, and her UK debut at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in 1991. A recitalist for college and community audiences both nationally and in Europe, Dr. Thornhill has been a member of the faculty at Stanford University, U.C.S.C., Occidental College, and Concordia University. Founder/director and for ten years the clarinetist of the award-winning Matrix Chamber Ensemble, she performed LA and World Premieres of works by Ned Rorem, Ernst Levy, Oliver Knussen, Joan Tower, Libby Larsen, Andrea Clearfield and Edward Cansino. Private teacher, chamber music coach, master class leader, and author, she also conducts the Los Angeles Clarinet Choir.
Margaret Thornhill Coaching Thomas Carroll, with Twyla Meyer at the piano.
Margaret Thornhill's masterclasses are often a true collaboration with the pianist, the participant, and the audience. With a deep knowledge of the solo literature, she typically engages participants in constructive dialogue about the performance, often eliciting audience feedback that is invaluable. In addition to offering suggestions for further technical study, her object is to transform the performer's confidence by increasing awareness of emotional intentions as well as the use of instrument and body.
2013 Guest Artists, the San Francisco-based SQWONK bass clarinet duo of Jonathan Russell and Jeff Anderle is a dynamic and adventurous ensemble that "pushes the envelope of what bass clarinet music can be" (Clarinet Magazine). SQWONK is devoted to exploring the full expressive range of the bass clarinet, from deep resonances to raucous wails. While grounded in the classical tradition, SQWONK's music draws on a wide range of influences, from klezmer to heavy metal to blues to minimalism to free improvisation, creating a repertoire that is strikingly contemporary, yet broadly accessible to a wide audience.
Jonathan Russell is a clarinetist, bass clarinetist, and composer (CCF Composer-in-Residence, 2011) active in a wide range of genres, including classical, contemporary, klezmer, and various genre hybrids (rock-classical, jazz-klezmer, etc.) He has performed with many San Francisco Bay Area ensembles and institutions, including the Other Minds festival, the Marin Symphony, BluePrint, the Machaya klezmer band and the Great Noise Ensemble in Washington, DC. He is currently a member of the New York new music ensemble Hotel Elefant, the Sqwonk bass clarinet duo and the Edmund Welles bass clarinet quartet, and appear occasionally with the klezmer/Balkan/ experimental band Zoyres. Dr. Russell holds the Ph.D. in composition from Princeton University.
Pianist/coach Twyla Meyer
We are fortunate to once again have sought-after collaborative pianist/coach Twyla Meyer as a mainstay of this festival. Twyla will coach, prepare and accompany students in recital. She has collaborated with clarinetists and singers, chamber music groups and choral ensembles in recital and in the studio for over thirty years. Staff accompanist and vocal coach at California State University Los Angeles for 30 years, she holds an MM in accompanying from the University of Southern California.
Althea Waites, renowned piano soloist, recording artist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist returns to the Festival in 2011 as pianist/coach. Ms. Waites is professor of music in the keyboard department of Bob Cole Conservatory at CSU Long Beach.
Director of Ensembles
CCF Assistant Director,Wendy Mazon will be conducting and coaching ensembles and working directly with individual participants. Claremont Clarinet Festival Administrator from 2008-2011, Dr. Mazon is a 2009 DMA graduate of the University of Arizona with a busy private studio in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County. She is active as a freelancer throughout Los Angeles County and is clarinetist with the Iris chamber ensemble.
Frances Marsden teaching Tanitra Flenaugh to "let her neck be free."
Alexander Technique teacher, Frances Marsden, will return with her popular group session which gives each player a chance to see how performance improves as we allow the clarinet to come to the body, rather than the body to the clarinet. This technique has the power to transform tone and reduce tension while playing.