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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000139.txt from 2004/10

Subj: [kl] 4th German Clarinet Symposium in Berlin (2 of 4)
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2004 19:33:32 -0400

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Hi again,

Here are some more details about the 4th German Clarinet Symposium in Berlin from October 1 - 3, 2004. It was held in the Musikinstrumentenmuseum under the patronage of Alan Hacker. (patron is Schirmherr in German and Alan got a kick out of translating it literally into "umbrella man"!)

This year's biannual clarinet symposium was held on the premises of the music instrument museum next to the Philharmonie (home of the Berlin Philharmonic). The idea stems from the curator of the museum, Frau Heike Fricke who wanted to fill the clarinet exhibition with life. There are further clarinet concerts planned during the exhibition which lasts until February 27th, 2005 including Hans-Rudolf Stalder, Chrisian Leitherer and Daniel Beyer. But during the first three days of the exhibition, the rooms were literally filled with clarinettist, concerts, exhibiting firms and great (and less great) clarinet music!

The official opening of the exhibition was on Thursday evening. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend but I hear it was very nice and that several young clarinettists supplied music for the event.

The actual exhibition has been considerably extended by examples from the private collection of our very own Sir Nicholas Shackleton and is very much worth seeing! For more information, see and

As I had expected, Berlin has changed drastically since I was last there in 1977. The subway lines and train lines go right through from east to west, the wall is gone and there are many new buildings, some of them very daring and impressive.

The opening of the symposium was a concert by students of Prof. Francois Benda starting at 10 AM.

Following at 11 AM was a talk by my old teacher, Dieter Klöcker on European Clarinet Viruosi in the Classic and Early Romatic Periods. It was a rather rhapsodic lecture with many fascinating details.

At 12:30 was the Composer Forum. Here my first surprise occured. (I had a surprise every day as it turned out) I was suddenly asked to turn pages for a world premier performance for clarinet and piano. I was rushed into the hall It was sort of strange to see all the people seated in the hall as I was ushered in. I wondered why nobody there wanted to do it. When I saw the score, I thought that might have been the reason: My head is still whizzing from all those notes! I'm not even sure any more which composer it was!!

At 2PM, Prof. Dr. David Ross presented his research on Alfred Buerkner, solo clarinettist in the Berlin Phil. from 1925 - 1961 including photos and sound recordings. At the end, Peter Geissler (retired clarinettist from the same orchestra) added an amusing detail about Mr. Buerkner. He used to throw his clarinet up into the air and said if he caught it, he had a service on that day. (He never dropped it!)

At 3PM concert by classes of profs. J.Klemm and W. Maeder. Especially enjoyable was Klemm's arrangement of Leonard Bernstein's Ouverture to Candide for clarinet sextet.

At 4PM was a fascinating lecture on the basset horn by pediatrition and basset horn specialist Dr. Thomas Grass and Prof. Dietrich Demus. (Their book "Das Bassetthorn" is a must!)

6PM was the clarinet choir rehearsal. There were no alto clarinets but about five basset horns, four bass clarinets, a contra alto and a contra bass clarinet. The sound was great! The conductor was Christof Hilger who has such a repertoir of hilarious expressions, I should have been writing them down.

At 8PM was a concert in the Philharmonie. The winds of the Berlin Philharmonic played a wonderful all Mozart concert. Divertimenti Nos. 1 and 3 divided by the Adagio for 2 clar. and 3 basset horns K. 411 and, after the break was, and I quote the program for Dan, " Serenade Nr. 10 B-Dur KV 361 Gran Partita".

In the late evening, back in the museum was a klezmer konzert by the Helmut Eisel Trio.

About 3/4 hr back to the hotel. Berlin is a large city. Tomorrow follows a report about day two (including surprise no. two)

Gute Nacht zusammen!



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