Register now for the Clarinet Mentors Live Event June 25 - 30, 2019 in conjunction with the Chamber Music Northwest Clarinet Celebration


Join me for inspiring concerts, masterclasses, group ensembles, an amazing array of clarinet gear, and to be part of our in-person Clarinet Mentors Community

Listen to what participants said about our last event (12 minutes into the video) Be inspired!

Schedule as of April 2019

There are many concerts and recitals featuring some of the best clarinetists in the world. Five Special Clarinet Concerts are featured; each with a different theme. There will also be daytime recitals and concerts, & social events such as happy hours, pre-concert picnics & more! For Amateur Adults, there will be a series of masterclasses with professional artists, and a series of workshops designed to help you play the clarinet more easily. The Clarinet Celebration is the vision of David Shifrin, one of the best clarinetists in the world, to bring many clarinetists together in this awesome event.


Here is a tentative schedule of events for the Clarinet Celebration and Clarinet Mentors Amateur Adult Workshops:

Tuesday June 25th - There will be a gala opening concert (see details below) in the evening which all Clarinet Mentors Community Members are invited to. (Please note this concert is also on Monday the 24th, but we will start the Clarinet Mentors portion with the Tuesday evening concert.)

Wednesday June 26th, Thursday June 27th, Friday June 28th and Saturday June 29th:

Get ready for four intense days of fabulous and inspirational concerts, special participatory clarinet workshops, masterclasses, gear tryout sessions, a large community clarinet choir for you to play in, a world-class faculty and more! 


Clarinet Mentors Amateur Adult Workshops – Clarinet Celebration

These workshops are designed to help amateur adults improve their basic clarinet skills to sound better, play more easily, and recognize and correct the common mistakes that we all experience. Michelle will cover some important basic fundamentals in each category, as well as some more advanced concepts that are helpful know, even if you don’t have much clarinet experience (yet).

Wednesday – Better Clarinet Tone

We all feel inspired when we hear a clarinetist who sounds beautiful. How do they achieve that sound? Michelle will provide many helpful practise strategies in the key areas that most influence our tone production. She will also identify the most common things that many clarinetists do (unknowingly) that interfere with producing a warm, rich tone quality. Have your clarinets out to try out some better tone technics during this workshop.

Thursday – Clarinet Gear – A Helpful Guide

We all know that the most important thing to sounding good on clarinet is having a good concept what we want to sound like, and the physical training and skills we develop to produce that. However, a variety of clarinet gear affects and hopefully, enhances this process. We will discuss what to explore in reeds, mouthpieces, ligatures, barrels, bells, clarinets and a variety of other musical accessories.

Friday – Faster, More Effortless Finger Technic

We are all impressed by fast, fluid finger technic. You may wonder if you can ever achieve that yourself. Like all learnable skills on clarinet, it is much easier if you know the good habits you should be developing as you improve your own finger technic. Most people do not know the best ways to physically move and shape their hands and fingers on the clarinet. There are many common mistakes that really slow us down and make it much harder to easily move between notes. There are also many practise strategies that help us to speed up our progess as we strive to develop faster finger technic. This is an interactive session, so have your clarinets warmed up and ready to play.

 Saturday – What You Don’t Know About Clarinet Articulation (and the problems that is causing you)

Many clarinetists have not been trained in clarinet articulation (how we start and stop each note). The result is that they know things are not working they way they want to, but may not even recognize that the challenge is how they are using their tongue and air together. They experience high notes that don’t speak easily, they can’t tongue quickly enough to keep up with their band music, their tone is worse when they are tonguing than slurring and other mysterious symptoms. The good news is that the tongue is the most flexible muscle in the body, and once you understand what you want to strive for, a few simple exercises can make a dramatic difference in your clarinet playing in a short time. Have your clarinet ready to try some of these during this workshop.

Sunday – Clarinet High Notes – How To Make Them Feel Easier and Sound Better

Clarinetists often feel like high notes are harder to play than low notes. They often jump out, or don’t speak, sound out of tune, squawky, and can be challenge to play softly with good tone. Michelle believes that high notes aren’t fundamentally harder, they are just more sensitive. In other words, they reveal underlying bad habits that we may not notice on lower notes. This can be useful in revealing and correcting those bad habits so that not only do our high notes work better, all notes sound better. Bring your clarinet to this interactive workshop.

You will also have access to all of the great workshops that all festival participants can attend. See that list here.


Tuesday, June 25th, 8 pm Mozart and the Clarinet
Chamber Music Northwest’s 49th Annual Summer Festival and our International Clarinet Celebration kicks off with some of the world’s leading clarinetists performing four of Mozart’s masterpieces that put the clarinet on the map!
With clarinetists David Shifrin, Laura Ardan, Richard Hawkins, Todd Kuhns, and James Shields

Thursday, June 27th, 8 pm Clarinet All Stars
Prepare to be dazzled! Witness the world’s leading clarinetists pull out all the stops with fun, fiery, and devilishly difficult repertoire.
With clarinetists David Shifrin, Corrado Giuffredi, Mark Dover, Bejamin Lulich, Chad Burrow, and Richard Hawkins

Friday, June 28th, 12 pm NOON Cutting Edge Clarinet
The clarinet has come a long way since Mozart’s day. Join us for five new works for clarinet, including work by Portland’s own Kenji Bunch and a world premiere by Libby Larsen.
With clarinetists Jose Franch-Ballester, Romie de Guise-Langlois, Ashley William Smith, Igor Shakhman, and Mingzhe Wang

Saturday, June 29th - 8 pm  Join us for an unprecedented number of world-class clarinetists performing epic works, including Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint, Peter Schickele’s Monochrome and Bach’s Toccata and Fugue.
With clarinetists Richard Hawkins, Fan Lei, Benjamin Lulich, Chad Burrow, Seunghee Lee, Jessica Phillips, Brooks Thon, Michelle Anderson, Mingzhe Wang, Mark Dover, Ashley William Smith, Aude Camus, Mary Backun, Joshua Anderson, Romie de Guise-Langlois, Corrado Giufreddi, James Shields, Jose Franch-Ballester, Morrie Backun, David Shifrin, Marc Dubac, He Yi, Igor Shakhman, Emil Khudyev, Dunja Jennings Marcum, Ken Peplowski, Barbara Heilmair Tanret, and David Hattner

Sunday, June 30th - 4 pm Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Serenade for Winds — featuring the winner of our International Clarinet Celebration Young Artists Competition!
With clarinetists Richard Hawkins and James Shields
featuring the International Clarinet Celebration Young Artists Competition winner

On most of these days, we will have events from 9:00 to about 5:00. Here is a sample schedule:

 9:00 - 10:00  Clarinet Technic Workshop (different theme each day)
10:00 Break
10:15 - 11:30  Clarinet Choir (bring your clarinet and join in)
11:30  Break
11:45 - 1:00  Masterclass (mini private lessons with world-class teachers)
1:00  Lunch
2:00 - 3:30  Masterclass
3:30 - 4:00  Time To Try Out Gear etc. (Michelle will be available to help you find gear that works best for you!)
4:00/4:30/5:00  Fireside chat with guest artist if available - 1 hour (We also could have another masterclass in this time slot)

Sunday June 30th - afternoon

There will be a matinee concert featuring the winner of the clarinet competition, and more of the Clarinet Celebration Faculty.

Other workshops:

Effective Practice

Fred Ormand
Learn how to make the most of your practice time! Renowned clarinetist and professor Fred Ormand, one of David Shifrin’s most influential teachers, will reveal his most effective techniques for perfecting practice.


Clarinet Extended Techniques

Ashley William SmithFrom multiphonics to a good slap tongue, innovative extended techniques have pushed the limits of the clarinet and allowed composers to create endlessly unique and imaginative soundscapes. Extended technique aficionado Ashley William Smith will describe and demonstrate the multitude of “special effects” for the clarinet, how to execute them, and how they are used in context.


Music Entrepreneurship: You Are the Company

Seunghee LeeClarinetist, music entrepreneur, and TEDx speaker Seunghee (Sunny) Lee will discuss how to release and market your own album and guide you through creative strategies to take ownership of your clarinet career. In addition to a clarinet performance career, Lee is the founder of Music Solis, an independent record label, sheet music publishing, and artist consulting company, and has lectured on music entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School and Yale.


Jazz and the Clarinet

Ken PeplowskiClarinetist and jazz great Ken Peplowski will guide you through the clarinet’s prominent place in the past, present, and unfolding future of jazz!  Peplowski will demonstrate changing styles of improvisation, the clarinet’s role in jazz, different approaches to technique and tone, and offer a window into his own approach to tone production and practice techniques as they relate to jazz performance.



Mark Dover
Learn how to play off the page!  In this seminar, jazz and classical clarinetist Mark Dover will help you unlock the joy of improvising.


The Art of Single Reed Adjustment

Fred Ormand
Fred Ormand
, renowned clarinetist and writer of the critically-acclaimed The Single Reed Adjustment Manual, will tell you everything you need to know about single reeds like clipping, breaking in a reed, working the spots, tool use, and the effect of altitude, humidity and temperature on reeds.


Inside the Clarinetist’s (Mouthpiece) Studio

Richard Hawkins
Master clarinetist and mouthpiece designer Richard Hawkins and David Shifrin discuss clarinet mouthpieces and today’s equipment needs. After 30 years in the craft, Hawkins designed the recent release Hawkins/Backun “Vocalise” mouthpieces, praised for their beautiful, focused tone and impressive projection.


Clarinet Making and Maintenance

Morrie BackunLearn about the art of clarinet making and the best maintenance practices from Morrie Backun, founder of Backun Musical Services and go-to woodwind technician for many of the world’s most respected artists. Backun spawned the after-market barrel and bell revolution with his handcrafted creations and continues to lead the evolution of the clarinet and clarinet accessories.


The AMRC Teaching Method

Aude Camus
Improve your playing by improving your posture and mindfulness. Aude Camus developed her method for clarinet performance based on the Alexander Technique. In this class, Camus will walk you through the basics of this novel approach to playing, with live students as examples.


Clarinet Teaching Methods Round Table

Teaching Methods
From Klosé and beyond, clarinet performance methods are more than just a means to an end. Join our clarinet performers and pedagogues for a spirited discussion of the advantages, disadvantages, and unique qualities of comparative methods for teaching and learning the clarinet.


Clarinet Composition Round Table

Composers Michele Mangani, Libby Larsen, David Schiff, and Yuan Chen Li will premiere brand new compositions featuring the clarinet during this year’s Summer Festival.  Join them as they discuss the unique advantages, challenges, and joys of composing for the clarinet.


International Approaches to the Clarinet Round Table

International ApproachesClarinetists from all over the world will be joining us for the clarinet celebration. Join musicians like Aude Camus (France), Corrado Giuffredi (Italy), Brooks Thon (Japan), Fan Lei (China), and Ashley William Smith (Australia) as they discuss the clarinet methods, attitudes, and philosophies most common – and uncommon – around the world.


Clarinet Mentors Masterclasses

The Clarinet Mentors group will have masterclasses uniquely for us led by Michelle Anderson and some of the amazing guest artists at Clarinet Celebration.

This is your chance to learn many new clarinet skills in a very supportive environment. Participants will receive a mini lesson with Michelle, and other guest artists, in a supportive group setting. Each player will choose a focus that they would like to improve, and play a brief piece of music that illustrates this. Michelle will provide some pointers and technics to improve, with the goal of making it feel easier for each performer. All participants learn a great deal by watching other players, since we all face similar challenges. These events alone make the whole festival worth attending!

There are approximately 25 masterclass positions available. There will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for those that want a mini-lesson during these sessions. 

These will be participatory, so there is much to learn for everyone.

Guest artists for our masterclasses include David Shifrin, Mary Backun, Deborah Andrus, Jose Franch-Ballester, Michelle Anderson and more.


Five Special Clarinet Concerts

Hear world-class clarinetists like Romie De Guise-Langlois, Corrado Giuffredi, Jose Franch-Ballester, Mark Dover, and many more perform on the Chamber Music Northwest Mainstage. Tickets are included in registration ($162.50+ value!)

Clarinet Ensembles

Pull out your clarinet and have a great time playing music with like-minded clarinetists. We will have a Clarinet Mentors Clarinet Choir, with repertoire suitable for a variety of experience levels, led by Michelle. This will be a great way to play some fun music, and also learn some ensemble skills. Making music together in this supportive environment will be a highlight of our time together. (Plus, on Saturday, several of the artist faculty will join us so you can play beside these skilled professionals.) We'll be playing in a fun, informal concert Saturday afternoon in downtown Portland.

"All Things Clarinet" For You To Try Out

This will be an amazing opportunity to try out mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures, barrels, bells and clarinets (and more). Rarely do you get to try out so many things in one place. You can discover what sounds best with (and perhaps radically enhances)  your clarinet setup.

Young Artist Clarinet Competition

You will have access to all of the live events that are happening at Portland State University during this exciting clarinet competition. Some of the best clarinetists in the world are gathering to judge the next generation of great performers. You can watch the live rounds of competition, and we all benefit from the inspiring concerts and recitals that are part of this event. 

Some of the performers that you will hear:

David Shifrin

Winner of the 2000 Avery Fisher Prize, clarinetist David Shifrin has appeared with the Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Denver symphonies.

He has appeared in recital at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, and at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In addition he has appeared in recital and as soloist with orchestra throughout Europe and Asia.

A three-time Grammy nominee, he has been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest since 1980 and a faculty member at Yale since 1987. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, he served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004.

He was one of Michelle's childhood "Clarinet Heroes".

Jose Franch Ballester

Originally from Spain, Mr. Franch-Ballester is considered one of the finest classical soloists and chamber music artists of his generation. He has been hailed for his “technical wizardry and tireless enthusiasm” (The New York Times), his “rich, resonant tone” (Birmingham News), and his “subtle and consummate artistry” (Santa Barbara Independent). The recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008, and winner of both the Young Concert Artists and Astral Artists auditions, he is a solo artist and chamber musician in great demand.

As a concerto soloist Mr. Franch-Ballester made his New York debut in 2006 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center. He has also performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Wisconsin Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and various orchestras in his native Spain.

He is also a dedicated music educator, developing new audiences through countless educational concerts and workshops for young people and community audiences. He is assistant professor of clarinet and chamber music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


Corrado Giufreddi

A truly versatile artist, Corrado Giuffredi is renowned as a classical, chamber, jazz and klezmer musician. His orchestral appearances include performances with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana and the Orchestra Filharmonica della Scala, to name a few. In addition to numerous recordings, Corrado has also premiered a number of works including Penderecki’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra.

His performances are stunning!

And... there will be workshops, including clarinet maintenance, jazz clarinet and more.

Register Now for this Live Clarinet Event

This will be an event for you to learn many things to help you play clarinet better. You will also be inspired by world-class performers, and will enjoy trying all kinds of new clarinet gear. Don't miss this fun and educational clarinet event that is designed for you, the amateur adult clarinetist!

Check out the list of artists

  • David Shifrin
  • Benjamin Lulich
  • Seunghee Lee
  • Richard Hawkins
  • Ken Peplowski
  • Mary Backun
  • James Shields
  • Corrado Giuffredi
  • Michelle Anderson
  • Jose Franch-Ballester
  • Romie de Gruise-Langlois
  • and more....

More details here: