Charles Neidich

Clarinetist and conductor, Charles Neidich mesmerizes audiences the world over as one of the most mesmerizing virtuosos performing today (“the greatest clarinetist of our time” Japan, Record Geijutsu). With a tone of hypnotic beauty and a dazzling technique, Mr. Neidich has received unanimous accolades from critics and fellow musicians both in the United States and abroad; but it is his musical intelligence in scores as diverse as Mozart and Elliott Carter that has earned for Mr. Neidich a unique place among clarinetists. In the words of The New Yorker, "He's an artist of uncommon merit - a master of his instrument and, beyond that, an interpreter who keeps listeners hanging on each phrase."
An ardent exponent of new music and a composer himself, he has expanded the technical and expressive possibilities of the clarinet and has championed the works of many of the world’s most important composers. He is a leading performer on period instruments and has restored and reconstructed original versions of works composers from Mozart to Copland.
In past seasons Mr. Neidich has appeared in recital and as guest soloist all over the world and has been making his mark as a conductor praised for his dynamically expressive performances ranging from historically informed repertoire to contemporary works.In wide demand as a soloist, Mr. Neidich has collaborated with some of the world's leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the MDR, the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, San Diego Symphony, American Symphony, New City Chamber Orchestra of San Francisco, Yomiuri Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Tafelmusik, the Handel/Haydn Society, the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra, the Juilliard, Guarneri, American, Mendelssohn, and Parker String Quartets and the Peabody Trio. He has made his mark as well as an innovative programmer and student of period instrument performance practice. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Neidich is a member of the renowned New York Woodwind Quintet and is a member emeritus of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Neidich commands a repertoire of over 200 solo works, including pieces written, commissioned or inspired by him, as well as his own compositions and transcriptions of vocal and instrumental works. A noted exponent of 20th century music, he has premiered works by Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, Edison Denisov, William Schuman, Ralph Shapey, Joan Tower, Ursula Mamlok and other leading contemporary composers. With a growing discography to his credit, Mr. Neidich can be heard on the Chandos, Sony Classical, Sony Vivarte, Deutsche Grammophon, Musicmasters, Pantheon, Bridge, and Bremen Music Hall labels.
A native New Yorker of Belorussian and Greek descent, Charles Neidich had his first clarinet lessons with his father and his first piano lessons with his mother. Mr. Neidich’s early musical idols were violinist Fritz Kreisler, pianist Artur Schnabel and other violinists and pianists rather than clarinetists. However, the clarinet won out over time and he pursued studies with the famed pedagogue Leon Russianoff. Although Mr. Neidich became quite active in music at an early age, he opted against attending a music conservatory in favor of academic studies at Yale University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Anthropology. While at Yale, he received the Selden Prize for musicianship and scholarship and in 1975 he became the first American to receive a Fulbright grant for study in the former Soviet Union. His European honors include top prizes at the 1982 Munich International Competition sponsored by the German television network ARD, and the Geneva and Accanthes International Competitions. In 1985 Mr. Neidich became the first clarinetist to win the Walter W. Naumburg Competition, which brought him to prominence as a soloist.
Mr. Neidich has achieved great recognition as a teacher in addition to his activities as a performer, and is currently a member of the artist faculties of the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College of Music and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is also a mentor for the noted Danish ensemble, Ensemble Midvest.
In 2004, Charles Neidich was awarded the William Schuman Award for performance and scholarship at the Juilliard School. Already in its 12th season, together with his wife, Ayako Oshima, he founded the Kitakaruizawa Music Seminar and in 2016, the WA Concert Series in New York. In 2018 he was awarded a lifetime membership in honor of his artistic achievements by the International Clarinet Society and a medal for lifetime achievement from the National Society of Arts and Letters.

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