34 Important Dates in the Life of Richard Stoltzman

Cite this article as:

International Journal of Music. (September 1, 2021). 34 Important Dates in the Life of Richard Stoltzman. International Journal of Music. Accessed July 25, 2024. https://ijm.education/winds/woodwinds/clarinet/richard-stoltzman/

  • 1942: Born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
  • 1952: Started learning clarinet when he was in fifth grade with Howard Thompson at the Sherman & Clay music store in San Francisco.
  • 1960: Having gotten into Ohio State University (where he would earn a double major in Music and Mathematics), he began practising jazz unofficially, putting together a big band with some of his fellow students, including composer Ladd McIntosh, who arranged saxophone parts for him so he could play them on clarinet. While there, his clarinet teachers were Donald McGinnis and Robert Titus.
  • 1964: After graduated from Ohio State, he then took lessons with the first-chair clarinettist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Robert Marcellus, who helped Stoltzman decide to pursue master studies under Keith Wilson at the Yale School of Music.
  • 1967: Started doctoral work at Teacher’s College of Columbia University in New York (until 1970) under his final clarinet teacher, Kalmen Opperman. Besides, he attended the Marlboro Music Festival for the first time, returning every summer for the next ten years.
  • 1970: Joined the faculty at the California Institute of the Arts, where he taught until 1976, when he resigned from teaching to pursue his solo career.
  • 1973: Founding member of the Tashi Quartet, together with pianist Peter Serkin, cellist Fred Sherry, and violinist/violist Ida Kavafian, performing their first concert at the New School for Social Research in New York. Received the Martha Baird Rockefeller Award. He released his first solo album, A Gift of Music for Clarinet, with pianists Peter Serkin and Bill Douglas (Orion).
  • 1975: Two new compositions commissioned by the Tashi Quartet: Tōru Takemitsu’s Quatrain and Charles Wuorinen’s Tashi.
  • 1976: First of twenty-five appearances at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. Debut album by the Tashi Quartet — Tashi Plays Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time (RCA Red Seal).
  • 1977: Received the Avery Fisher Recital Award (now called Avery Fisher Career Grant), giving him professional assistance and recognition — first wind musician to get it. Takemitsu’s second work for Tashi: Quatrain II.
  • 1979: Wuorinen’s second work for Tashi: Fortune.
  • 1980: Signed an exclusive recording deal with RCA (now Sony BMG), having released more than forty albums with them to date, the first of which was released the following year — Mozart: Clarinet Concerto, K. 622 & Bassoon Concerto, K. 191 (arranged for clarinet) with the English Chamber Orchestra / Alexander Schneider.
  • 1982: Became the first clarinettist to give a solo recital at Carnegie Hall New York, performing in 1984 and 1986 again.
  • 1983: Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance with his recording of Brahms: Sonatas for Clarinet, Op. 120, with pianist Richard Goode (RCA Red Seal, 1982). Besides, he commissioned composer/arranger Clare Fischer to write The Duke, Swee’pea and Me, a symphonic work for clarinet and orchestra using Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn themes.
  • 1985: Became the first clarinettist to give a solo recital at Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, soloing with Woody Herman’s big band, The Thundering Herd, celebrating their 50th anniversary with Woody as the bandleader.
  • 1986: Awarded the Avery Fisher Prize for demonstrating outstanding achievement and excellence in music — first wind musician to get it.
  • 1989: Appeared on Sesame Street episode 2439.
  • 1991: The city of Vienna invited him to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, K. 622, at the Konzerthaus on the 200th anniversary of its first performance there (1791). The BBC commissioned Takemitsu’s Fantasma/Cantos for him and the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra.
  • 1992: Appeared on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episode 1659.
  • 1993: Was featured in Dudley Moore Introduces Concerto! (RCA Victor), a six-part British VHS series where he plays and talks about Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra / Michael Tilson Thomas, winning an Emmy Award in the International Performing Arts category.
  • 1996: Second Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance with his recording Brahms / Beethoven / Mozart: Trios for Piano, Clarinet & Cello, with pianist Emanuel Ax and cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Sony Classical, 1995).
  • 1998: Released the first of two songbooks through the publisher Carl Fischer, Aria — opera solos transcriptions for clarinet and piano. He founded the Clarinet Summit, a semi-regular international gathering of clarinettists, along with Kalmen Opperman.
  • 2002: Second book on Carl Fischer, The Richard Stoltzman Songbook — a compilation of contemporary classical, jazz, and pop transcriptions for clarinet and piano.
  • 2003: Mozart Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His recording of Stephen Hartke’s Clarinet Concerto “Landscapes with Blues” in the album series American Classics (Naxos) with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra / Michael Stern was selected as a Best of 2003 by the New York Times.
  • 2004: Guest artist with The Children’s Orchestra Society at Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center.
  • 2005: Was presented with the Yale School of Music’s Sanford Medal, which recognises celebrated concert artists and distinguished members of the music profession.
  • 2007: Takemitsu’s Fantasma/Cantos performances with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra / Michael Tilson Thomas.
  • 2009: His arrangement and performance of Debussy’s Maid with the Flaxen Hair (Fine Music, Vol. 1, Navona Records, 2008) was chosen as one of only three tracks to be pre-loaded on Microsoft’s Windows® System 7 release.
  • 2010: Was featured in the two DVD set Bach & Friends produced and directed by Michael Lawrence, which included him discussing J.S. Bach and performing Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy in D minor, BWV 903a. Live performances at the EG conference at Symphony Space in New York City.
  • 2012: Premiered Chick Corea’s Marika Groove for marimba, clarinet, bass and drum — dedicated to him and his wife, marimbist Mika Yoshida — at Carnegie Hall.
  • 2013: Was appointed a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • 2017: Sony Classical issued a 40-CD boxed set, celebrating the variety and depth of his artistry.
  • 2018: His appearances stretched from New England to Alaska and throughout Japan, including a variety of Bernstein Centennial celebrations.
  • 2019: Received the Cremona Music Award, Italy, in the Wind Instruments Performance category.


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