• Clarinet Trio in A Minor, op. 114
  • Two Songs with Viola, op. 91
  • Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, op. 115

Clarinet Chronicles - Brahms on the Bluff

The Clarinet Chronicles, the final concert of Brahms on the Bluff.
(From left to right)Charles Stegeman, Rachel Stegeman, Guenko Guechev, James Campbell, David Allen Wehr, Anne Martindale Williams, and Donald McInnes. Photo by Kamie Schoonhoven.

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The Clarinet Chronicles

Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 3 p.m.

  • James Campbell, clarinet
  • Guenko Guechev, bass baritone
  • Donald McInnes, viola
  • Charles Stegeman, violin
  • Rachel Stegeman, violin
  • David Allen Wehr, piano
  • Anne Martindale Williams, cello

Brahms’s love affair with the clarinet brought him out of retirement to compose two works, the Clarinet Trio, op. 114, and the Clarinet Quintet, op. 115. Their autumnal qualities complement the program’s two gentle Songs with Viola, op. 91.

In a special pre-concert program at 2:15 p.m., music students from Duquesne University explore the “Muhlfeld connection,” the relationship between Brahms and Richard Muhlfeld, the foremost clarinetist of the composer’s era.

James Campbell James Campbell has followed his muse to five television specials, more than 40 recordings, over 30 works commissioned, a Juno Award for his recording Stolen Gems, a Roy Thomson Hall Award, and in 1997 Canada's highest honor: the Order of Canada.His recording of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet was chosen by BBC Radio and the London Times as the best available. He has given master classes on five continents including the Royal Academy in London, the Tokyo College of Music, the Moscow Conservatory, the Rotterdam Conservatory, the University of Southern California, the Beijing Conservatory, and throughout Australia and Canada. His concerts have taken him to over 25 countries, appearing as soloist with over 50 orchestras including the Montreal Symphony, the Russian Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the Boston Pops.

Guenko Guechev Guenko Guechev is a world-renowned Bulgarian Bass-Baritone. He has taken his natural aptitude for music and his gift of language-fluency and applied them with fervor to the specialty of 19th and early 20th century operatic interpretive vocal styles. He has appeared internationally in nearly 1000 opera performances. Mr. Guenko Guechev graduated with distinction and master's degree from the "Pancho Vladigerov" State Academy of Music, Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently He is an Adjunct Professor of Voice and Opera Workshop Assistant Director at the "Mary Pappert School of Music" at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His love of the Russian and Italian vocal styles in 19th and early 20th century opera and his partnership with many Italian singers allows Mr. Guechev to direct each student to uncover unique vocal abilities.

Donald McInnesViolist Donald McInnes is one of the most distinguished musicians in the world today. The holder of the William Primrose Chair at the University of Southern California, McInnes is in constant demand as a performer and teacher. A former principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, he has recorded with all the major conductors and orchestras. He will be returning frequently as a guest artist in future seasons of Brahms on the Bluff.

Charles StegemanCharles Stegeman, Chair of Strings at Duquesne University, was for many years the violinist of the Sartory Trio (with David Allen Wehr as pianist). He is currently Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra and artist-in-residence at Azusa College in California. A native of Vancouver, he is a graduate of both the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the Juilliard School in New York City. He has founded numerous music festivals all over the US, and is currently Artistic Director of the Sunflower Chamber Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas.

Rachel StegemanRachel Stegeman, Adjunct Professor of Violin at Duquesne University, Concertmaster of the Wheeling Symphony, and holds Associate Concertmaster positions of the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Pittsburgh Ballet Orchestra, and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. She has performed with major symphony orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra and on over 1000 commercial recording projects, including classical music, chamber music, jazz, pop, R&B, contemporary jazz, easy listening, rock, heavy metal, live television and award shows, and soundtracks for both television and motion pictures.

Anne Martindale WilliamsAnne Martindale Williams is originally from Philadelphia. On graduating from the Curtis Institute, she was engaged by the Pittsburgh Symphony as Associate Principal Cellist, and was promoted to Principal Cellist by Music Director Andre Previn. She is in constant demand as a chamber music player and visits many festivals each summer. Her Tecchler cello was made in Rome in 1701.

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