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Clarinet Sextet


 for Clarinet in A, Two Violins, Viola, and Two Cellos

November 26, 2009—February 22, 2010
Duration: 23 ˝ minutes

for Fred Jacobowitz and Bonnie Thron

Norman Rockwell

Full Score, PDF            Cover         Parts
This was premiered on my Feb. 28, 2012 concert at Duke University.
Eric Pritchard and Mary Kay Robinson, violin;
David Marschall, viola; Nathan Leyland and Bonnie Thron, cellos; Fred Jacobowitz, clarinet

video (YouTube)

Introduction and exit from the WHQR broadcast of Sept. 28, 2015 by Pat Marriot (mp3) 

I. A Small Still Voice  [6:25]    MP3     WAV (CD quality)

    Adagio con queso


II. Faster, Higher, Louder [6:21] 



III. Curious Interlude  [6:31]         MP3     WAV 
Oregano I: Oregano II: Oregano I: Oregano II: Oregano I

IV. A Fearful Earful  [5:09]          MP3     WAV 

*Concert for Clarinet and Strings
for Clarinet in A and String Orchestra
(arranged from Clarinet Sextet
, July, 2012)
Full Score, PDF        Parts    Cover

          I have written two chamber works previous to this including clarinet; Quartet for a New Beginning, for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, and Grand Serenade for clarinet, cello and piano. These combinations worked well for the kind of music that I write. Also, there are two local married couples here in Raleigh where the husband plays clarinet and the wife is a cellist; Fred Jacobowitz and Bonnie Thron, who premiered the Grand Serenade, and Jimmy Gilmore and Elizabeth Beilman, who premiered the quartet.
          While most of my chamber music includes piano, sometimes I like to get away from it for a bit. At first I intended to write a clarinet quintet for the usual clarinet and string quartet, but from the first few measures the music insisted on an extra cello. So—I went with the flow.
          In July 2012, I decided to expand the sextet by adding a double bass part and thus make it a work for clarinet and string orchestra. This will improve the balance and make the kind of lush sound that suits the music. As this is not really in the style of a “concerto” for soloist with an accompaniment, I call it simply a “concert” for clarinet and strings.
          For no particular reason, the tempo markings are all taken from food. Except for the first movement’s “Adagio con queso”, none give an idea as to tempo, requiring musicians to refer to the metronome markings, which I much prefer.
          The Clarinet Sextet premiere performance has been broadcast twice on WCPE.

          Accidentals hold through the measure and not beyond, and do not refer to other octaves. Sometimes I include courtesy accidentals to avoid confusion.

Musician Biographies

Fred Jacobowitz received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with the late Leon Russianoff. He made his New York Debut at Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Hall) as winner of the Artists International Competition. He was a featured soloist on radio stations WBAI and WQXR in New York City, with the Goldman Band, and in recital throughout the Metropolitan New York area. As a chamber musician, he has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and played in the Verrazano Winds Woodwind Quintet in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Jacobowitz was Principal Clarinetist in the Annapolis (Maryland) Symphony Orchestra from 1989-2002. He is equally at home in the worlds of Classical, Jazz and Folk, having performed and recorded with his Kol Haruach Klezmer Band (www.kolharuach.com) and his duo, Ebony and Ivory (www.ebonyandivory.ca). He has performed as recitalist and soloist throughout the US and Canada and in Panama. Mr. Jacobowitz now resides in Raleigh, NC, where (when not performing out of town) he teaches and freelances, and he can often be heard playing concerts with his wife, North Carolina Symphony Principal ‘Cellist Bonnie Thron. He runs his own business, Case Closed (www.case-closed.us), fixing musical instrument cases and is a sometime Little League Baseball Umpire.
Nathan Leyand, cello, attended the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Nathaniael Rosen. Before moving to the Triangle, he was principal cellist of the Des Moines Symphony and member of the Pioneer String Quartet. Leyland has performed as soloist with symphony orchestras in Ohio, New York and Connecticut, and as recitalist and chamber musician in much of the United States. He is currently an active freelancer in North Carolina, performing with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Mallarme Chamber Players, the Carolina Ballet Orchestra among others.
David Marschall was been a member of the North Carolina Symphony since 1987. He was appointed Associate Principal Viola in 2007, and this season he is serving as Acting Principal Viola. Since 1990, he spent his summers playing in the orchestra of the Santa Fe Opera. David is a member of the chamber ensemble Quercus, and he is a member of New Music Raleigh, an ensemble dedicated to the music of living composers. He performed regularly in the Peace College Chamber Music Series and with the Mallarme Chamber Players. 
       David has also served as Principal Viola for the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and the Columbus Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra. He was a member of the New Orleans Symphony, the Innsbruck (Austria) Symphony, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Colorado Philharmonic. 
       A native of Columbus, Ohio, David studied first at Ohio State, and he received his Master's degree from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Karen Tuttle. His viola was made in 2009 by Grubaugh and Seifert of California. David's wife, Amy, teaches German and English at Raleigh Charter High School, and they have two sons, Philip and Owen.

Eric Pritchard, violinist, has been a member of Ciompi Quartet since 1995 and was formerly the first violinist of the Alexander and Oxford Quartets. Mr. Pritchard has taught at Miami University, San Francisco State University, City University of New York and the North Carolina School of the Arts. He was winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Award in Violin as well as the first-prize winner at the Portsmouth (England) International String Quartet Competition and the Coleman and Fischoff national chamber music competitions. He has performed widely as a recitalist and as soloist with the Boston Pops and orchestras in Europe and South America. His major teachers were Eric Rosenblith, Josef Gingold, Ivan Galamian and Isadore Tinkleman and he holds degrees from Indiana University and the Juilliard School. He has performed many works by Bill Robinson since 2006.
Mary Kay Robinson, violinist, is a 1968 graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with Dorothy DeLay and Ivan Galamian. She studied chamber music with Felix Galimir, Donald Weilerstein, Josef Gingold and members of the Guarneri String Quartet. She furthered her education with studies with  Glenn Dicterow, Gregory Fulkerson and Gerald Beal.    Her first job after graduation was as violin instructor at the University of Tennessee, in her hometown of Knoxville, where she filled in for her former teacher, William Starr, who was on sabbatical in Japan. She was a member of the University of Tennessee String Quartet and later held a similar position in the University of Maryland String Quartet.
          Mary Kay was member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1973, where she also participated in many chamber music concerts with her orchestra colleagues.  Later she joined the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and substituted for many years with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. She has played chamber music with many illustrious musicians including Paul Neubauer, Kerry McDermott, Muneko Otani, Dan Foster, Yehonatan Berrick, Fred Sherry, Steve Balderston, and Peter Lloyd, Andres Cardenes, and David Harding.
           She has toured with Solisti New York and spent many summers playing with the OK Mozart Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, and Bellingham Festival of Music. All the while she has maintained an active private teaching studio and worked on the ground floor of  a joint project with the NJ Symphony and  the Newark city schools, bringing string teaching  to second, third and fourth graders. She helped develop the NJ Symphony’s Outreach program, which today carries music to people all over the state of NJ from hospitals and nursing homes to museums, libraries and schools. In 2008 she taught at Duke University as well as maintaining a private studio. Also that year, she performed Bill Robinson’s Sonata for Solo Violin #4 at Brevard, NC.
Bonnie Thron; Principal cellist of the North Carolina Symphony, Bonnie has been a concerto soloist with many orchestras in North Carolina, New England, Maryland and Panama. She has been a soloist and frequent collaborator with the Brussels Chamber Orchestra during their summer North Carolina residencies. Bonnie plays with the Mallarme Chamber Players and was involved in their latest cd release "Songs for the Soul" which consists of music by African American composers. Formerly a member of the Peabody Trio and the Denver Symphony, she also performed with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble and Speculum Musicae in NYC. She has been a frequent guest artist with the Apple Hill Chamber Players in her home state of New Hampshire and participates every August in the Sebago Long Lake Music Festival in Harrison, Maine. As well as degrees from the Juilliard School, Bonnie also has a BSN from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and worked for several years as a nurse in Baltimore.