Every year since 2002, the Northern Illinois University School of Music has presented a day-long festival for clarinet players with a different theme. The 2018 Clarinet Cornucopia festival features “The French Belle Époque’” with guest artists Stefan Harg, clarinet and Katarina Ström-Harg, piano. The festival will be held Saturday, February 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. It is free to attend and clarinet players are invited to perform in the Clarinet Choir after registering at go.niu.edu/clarinet.
The festival begins with a warmup and master class with NIU Professor of Clarinet, Greg Barrett at 9 a.m. A medley recital featuring professionals, teachers and graduate students will be held at 10 a.m. The guest artist recital with Stefan Harg and Katarina Ström-Harg is at 11 a.m.
Stefan Harg will give a master class at 1:15 p.m., and the Cornucopia Choir Rehearsal, led by NIU Professor of Music Danko Drusko will be held at 3 p.m. Drusko is the Conductor of the NIU Philharmonic and Opera Theatre. The event concludes at 4:30 p.m. with ensembles performances.
Harg will be the soloist in the world premiere of “Dancing Goats” for clarinet and clarinet choir by Swedish composer Niklas Breman. Drusko will conduct the performance and all attendees will participate.
All events take place in the Music Building on the campus of NIU in DeKalb, Illinois.
About Stefan Harg: Clarinet guest artist Stefan Harg is an internationally recognized musician and educator. He performs on modern and historic instruments and many composers have written works for him. He has collaborated with, among others, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti and Libby Larsen. On numerous occasions, he has performed Dialogue L’ombre double for clarinet and electronics. Harg is regularly invited as a soloist in Swedish and foreign orchestras. Since 1990, he has collaborated with pianist Katarina Ström-Harg. Stefan Harg is Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at Örebro Music University. He was educated at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, earning the Soloist Diploma (1990) and Kammarmusik Diploma (1988). Further studies abroad were with Guy Deplus and Walter Boeykens.
About Niklas Bremen, composer and teacher of composition: Bremen studied composition at the College of Music in Piteå with Jan Sandström and at the Royal College of Music Stockholm with Bill Brunson (electroacoustic music). His musical education also includes studies in film music and scenography, a diploma as Montessori teacher, a diploma in computer network administration among other things. He is currently working as a teacher in composition and harmony at the music school Lilla Akademien.
About La Belle Époque’: the expressions reflect the positive changes in society during a period in the history of France. It was marked by the insouciance, growth and optimism, but also a nostalgic retrospective. The guest artist recital will feature music from the critically acclaimed CD “La Belle Époque” with music for clarinet and piano from 1889-1921.
The concert opens with an emotional piece by Ernest Chausson “Andante Allegro,” and it is followed by a wonderfully delicious “Fantasie Italienne ” by Marc Delmas, a hitherto forgotten gem. Then, another rarity: “Fantasy” by Prosper Mimart, on a theme from Saint-Saëns’s opera Samson and Delilah. That is followed by the Cantiléne of Louis Cahuzac, and Claude Debussy’s “Première Rhapsodie” for clarinet and piano. Debussy created his very own tonal language: Impressionism, where feelings are described in the form of musical images and thus gives the audience a sense of wholeness. The concert ends with a piece by Georges Meister Erwinn, a virtuoso tour de force.