10.29.17Locally renowned clarinetist to show off broad range of music

Adjunct Instructor of Music Antoine Clark’s first recital on the Hill in eight years will include a diverse repertoire of 19th and 20th century composers such as Leó Weiner, Bohuslav Martinů, Louis Spohr and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

08.31.17 Hear Homegrown Mozart and Wagner This Weekend

One of the many joys of this job is seeing locally based talent grow to become a thriving entity. Such is the case with Antoine Clark, a young clarinetist and conductor who holds a doctorate in musical arts from Ohio State University.

Five years ago, Clark formed the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. The chamber orchestra is now entering its fifth season, in residence at the eponymous performing arts venue in Worthington.

11.19.16Conductor Antoine Clark’s love of classical music distinct for a few reasons

Antoine Clark certainly wasn’t the first child to be captivated by classical music. But his race and his place - an African-American growing up in a working-class family in rural Virginia - meant that he was the only one around at the time. More than a quarter-century later, Clark stood in front of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra on a recent Sunday.

04.20.16The African-American Conductor: James DePreist

The wonderful Antoine Clark is a Columbus based clarinetist, teacher and conductor. Antoine recently took some time out of a ferociously busy schedule to help me with a series of podcasts on African-American conductors.

Elsewhere on this blog, you'll find our profiles of Thomas Wilkins, Henry Lewis, and Dean Dixon. Oh! And not forgetting, Antoine is the Founder and Music Director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

Now we discuss James DePreist. Born in Philadelphia in 1936, DePreist won the Dmitri Mitropoulos conducting competition while still a young man. He served as Leonard Bernstein's assistant at the New York Philharmonic. Over a long career, DePreist was music director of the National Symphony, the Monte Carlo Orchestra, and most notably enjoyed a long tenure with the Oregon Symphony. In 2005 he was awarded the National Medal of the arts by President George W. Bush.

James DePreist died in 2012.

03.15.16African-American Conductors Podcast: Thomas Wilkins

Here's another in a series of podcasts on the lives and careers of African-American conductors.

My collaborator in this project is a young man called Antoine Clark. We're a bit late with this next installment, for all the right reasons. Antoine is ferociously busy as a conductor, working with his own orchestra, the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

When not conducting there, he is doing guest appearances, he is teaching, he is an orchestra and chamber musician and is juggling phone calls from irritating radio producers about working on a podcast project

It was Antoine who reminded me of Thomas Wilkins. I should not have needed reminding.

Maestro Wilkins has been a welcome guest with the Columbus symphony.

Thomas Wilkins, born in Virginia, has served as music director of the Oregon Symphony and the Hollywood Bowl, and continues as Germershausen Conductor of the Boston Symphony Youth and Family Concerts.

Maestro Wilkins tell us "Music is greater than we are". You'll hear more comments from him, plus Antoine Clarks's perspective and musical examples, in this podcast tribute to Thomas Wilkins., Enjoy.

02.10.16Celebrating the African-American Conductor Henry Lewis

Continuing our series of podcasts on the African American conductor, I've asked Columbus based conductor Antoine Clark to join me in talking about Henry Lewis (1932-1996).

Columbus musician Antoine Clark discusses the life and music of African-American conductor Henry Lewis.

Henry Lewis was born in California. Trained on the double bass, Lewis formed the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and conducted for the U.S. Army in Europe in the 1950s. Henry Lewis became Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony in 19868, soon elevating a community based orchestra into the big leagues.

Lewis made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera on October 16, 1972, conducting La boheme. He led 138 performances at the Met, including productions of Carmen and Le Prophete starring his wife, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, whom he married in 1960. The couple divorced in 1979. Other Met assignments were Romeo et Juliette and Un ballo in maschera.

Henry Lewis went on to conduct the Netherlands Radio Symphony as Principal Conductor, and continued to appear internationally until shortly before his death in 1996.

Our podcast tribute to Henry Lewis includes excerpts from his recording of Richard Strauss's Don Juan, his 1976 television special for the BBC, and a 1991 performance of Rossini's Semiramide in Venice.

02.03.16Celebrating the African-American Conductor: Dean Dixon

I've asked Columbus based conductor Antoine Clark to join me for a series of conversations about African-American conductors. Antoine is finishing a masters at OSU, and is the founder and music director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

The classical music world is slowly becoming less color blind as far as maestri are concerned, but there is work to do.

Our talks begin with Dean Dixon (1915-1976). Dixon was a New Yorker who trained at Juilliard and Columbia University. He formed three orchestras on his own in New York, and took them to Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. His successes came to the attention of Eleanor Roosevelt, who wrote about Dixon in her syndicated newspaper column, My Day, and who attended his concerts. Dates followed conducting the New York Philharmonic and the NBC Symphony.

But Dixon's career was largely European based. He returned to New York for conducting dates in 1970, and died six years later. There's a new biography of this break through talent, Dean Dixon: Negro at Home, Maestro Abroad by Rufus Jones, Jr.

Look for future podcasts discussing James DePreist, Henry Lewis and Thomas Wilkins.

02.04.15McConnell woodwind orchestra plays old, new music

On Wednesday, Feb. 4, winds gusted through Rosse Hall, but ones of beautiful sound, not chilly winter air. The Chamber Winds of The McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, directed by Adjunct Instructor of Music Antoine T. Clark, presented a lively program of classical music. The program comprised Mendelssohn/Bartholdi’s “Nocturno in C major for Winds," the world premiere of Clark’s “Fantasy on Themes from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville," featuring clarinet soloist Dr. Charles West, and Strauss’s “Sonatina No. 2 in E-flat major." Though Rosse was far from full, those who attended enjoyed the beauty of the pieces and the remarkable performance delivered by the orchestra and soloist.

“Nocturno in C major" opened the concert with a conservative tone and relied heavily on clarinets and the double bass. A 15-year-old Mendelssohn wrote the piece while on holiday in Bad Doberan, a one-time spa destination on the Baltic Coast. During the visit, Mendelssohn encountered the wind ensemble of Duke Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Sherwin and composed the Nocturno for the duke’s octet. The piece began dreamily but soon gained speed and complexity. The selection eased the audience into the night’s classical setting while establishing an unexpectedly lively pace.

Clark composed “Fantasy on Themes from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville" in his junior year of undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. West, Clark’s former clarinet professor and the night’s featured soloist, had recently published an opera/fantasy and Clark was eager to try his hand at it as well. The composition explores the melodic elements of composing by reinventing both greater- and lesser-known opera themes and the technical capabilities of a clarinet lead. This piece continued the night’s trend by playing on the audience’s prior exposure to classical music, and then taking unexpected, whimsical turns while highlighting the clarinets.

Following the intermission, Strauss’s “Sonatina No. 2 in E flat major," alternatively titled “Happy Workshop," brought the concert to an end. The closing selection made the importance of Strauss’s innovative compositional style and ever-changing harmonies known. Again, the clarinet emphasized a reinterpretation of classical harmonies and compositional values. Using four types of clarinets, Strauss added a surprising complexity to the timbre of the wind ensemble with this energetic melody.

The McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra is only entering its second season, but already members of the Columbus Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and local artists have performed alongside the Chamber. This season, the Chamber will be collaborating with Women in Music Columbus, supplying college musicians with the opportunity to perform as soloists with the orchestra. The McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra will not return to Kenyon this season, but the Mivo String Quartet will take the stage in Brandi Recital Hall on Sunday, March 29.

10.14.14Antoine Clark – Music and Artistic Director McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra

About a year and a half ago, I had the pleasure of attending a performance of a clarinet quintet performing at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington on the north side of Columbus. The clarinetist, Dr. Antoine T. Clark, played some wonderful music by the likes of Mozart, Stadler, Baermann and Carl Maria von Weber, along with string musicians from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. The concert was wonderful. A real treat.

04.19.14Soothing Sounds in Spring: The McConnell Arts Center’s Chamber Orchestra

Antoine T. Clark has already created a loyal and passionate following, wowing the audiences with his blend of tenderness and power, pushing the musical dynamics to their extremes. His interpretations of the pieces he selects for the MACCO are true to the composer’s inspirations. Clark understands the history behind each piece and leads the MACCO in expressing those nuances. The listeners get a rare chance to hear and feel the artistic inspirations of each composer. Clark takes a dusty page and breathes life back into sound.

01.26.14MACCO Concert

Not even a county-wide Level 2 Emergency will keep people away from good music!

11.10.13Orchestra makes bow in suburb

Central Ohio communities are rich with orchestras — at least a half-dozen amateur or semiprofessional groups.

But there’s always room for one more.

Joining the musical landscape today is the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, new to Worthington.

12.06.12Fantasy on Themes from the Barber of Seville

Dr. Matthew C. Saunders discusses on his blog a project that he and I are working on. He is orchestrating my composition "Fantasy on Themes from the Barber of Seville" for Bb Clarinet and Wind Band.

02.25.11THE DOCTOR IS IN-Dr. Antoine Clark Makes a House Call

THE DOCTOR IS IN-Dr. Antoine Clark Makes a House Call
by John Mayo

February 25, 2011

The LDNE Music Department had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Antoine Clark as a clinician. What is a clinician? A clinician in the music world is expert who is normally from outside of the community that is asked to work with an ensemble. Dr. Clark was a clinician for Northeast because he is expert in music education and while at Northeast he worked with the Jr. High and High School band students. Dr. Clark was invited to help the Jr. High Band prepare for the Wayne State College Middle School Music Festival and to work with high school woodwind students.

Thank you to Dr. Clark for taking the time to work with Northeast students.

Dr. Clark is the Interim Assistant Professor of Music for Wayne State. He specializes in woodwind pedagogy. For more information on Dr. Clark click on the following link www.wsc.edu/schools/ahu/faculty_staff/an_clark/

12.14.10APSU's Gateway Chamber Ensemble Recognized on Grammy Nomination List


The ensemble, which formed in 2007 and is made up of APSU music faculty and other professional musicians, released its debut CD this year, “Wind Serenades." The CD was put forward for Grammy nominations by leaders in the music industry who recognized the high quality of that CD.

05.14.09The Fourth Johnstone Woodwind Master Series (JWMS) at The Ohio State University School of Music


The Fourth Johnstone Woodwind Master Series (JWMS) at The Ohio State University School of Music celebrates the oboe and the judging of new compositions for oboe by six OSU student composers. Boyce Lancaster spoke with one of these talented young composers, Antoine Clark.
Columbus OH The Johnstone Woodwind Master Series IV
2009: the Oboe

May 14–17, 2008

The Fourth Johnstone Woodwind Master Series (JWMS) at The Ohio State University School of Music celebrates the oboe and welcomes Joseph Robinson, retired Principal Oboist of the New York Philharmonic and noted educator, as featured guest artist. This year's JWMS is presented in conjunction with Double Reed Day.

Highlights of the four-day event include a gala concert with
Mr. Robinson, OSU faculty, and former students of his, playing works by Britten, Poulenc and others; the judging of new compositions for oboe by six OSU student composers; the premiere of a commissioned work, The Johnstone Suite, by composer Mark Biggam as well as the presentation of the Johnstone Ohio Woodwind Teacher Award.

Those interested in playing in the oboe master classes
with Mr. Robinson on Saturday should apply to Robert Sorton (sorton.1@osu.edu or 614-292-4620) before April 24.

All events are free and open to the public

04.21.09Clark to give faculty clarinet recital


As his second year at Kenyon College comes to a close, Adjunct Instructor of Music Antoine Clark will be performing a clarinet recital this weekend. Although he plays several other instruments, Clark's principal instrument is the clarinet. "As a kid, I liked it for its sound. I always thought it had a beautiful tone. That was my best trait as a musician when I was kid-tone production on the clarinet," Clark said. "As I've gotten older and mastered the clarinet, I've found that I really enjoy the literature written for it."

02.05.09Midday Concert Seeks to End Birthday Bash on High Note.

BY GARY BUDZAK
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

FILE PHOTO
Antoine Clark: "They're just very expressive pieces that are a delight."


The 200th anniversary of the midwinter birth of the German who composed the music for A Midsummer Night's Dream will be celebrated Sunday.

"Songs, With and Without Words" will highlight the music of Felix Mendelssohn, who was born Feb. 3, 1809.

The concert, part of the 30th season of a series presented by the Jefferson Academy of Music at Ohio State University, will feature central Ohio musicians -- including Antoine Clark, principal clarinetist with the Westerville Symphony.

"Antoine is one of these people who, when I first heard him play, I thought, 'That is just remarkable clarinet playing,' " said Ruth Triplett Haddock, executive director of the academy. "He's musical and technical.

"This was an occasion to give him a forum for his talent."

Clark will play arrangements of selections from Mendelssohn's Songs W ithout Words.

"They were written for piano, and they're just very expressive pieces that are a delight to play," he said. "As a testament to that, someone said, 'Let's have them for the clarinet.' "

Mendelssohn, who died in 1847, was a composer, conductor and pianist.

His best-known works include The Hebrides, Violin Concerto in E Minor and A Midsummer Night's Dream, which features the famous Wedding March. His compositions represent the romantic period, although he helped popularize the works of baroque composer J.S. Bach.

"He's definitely one of our jewels in the classical-music world," Clark said of Mendelssohn. "As a clarinet player, I'm familiar with all of his symphonies. He wrote very demanding music."

Clark, 31, of Columbus -- a professor of clarinet and saxophone at Kenyon College in Gambier -- is in his fourth year of doctoral studies at OSU.

From a musical family in Dinwiddie County, Va., he started playing clarinet in sixth grade.

His credentials include a master's degree in clarinet performance from the University of Cincinnati and stints as a principal clarinetist with orchestras in Detroit and Dearborn, Mich.

"I do find this to be a community I want to stay with," Clark said. "But I do need to honor my work, and, if I get a full-time teaching job at another university someday, I might have to leave.

"I'm trying to make my life here now, and, hopefully, other opportunities . . . will allow me to stay."

gbudzak@dispatch.com

04.26.07Flute Composition Competition


A flute composition competition was held during the recent Johnstone Woodwind Master Series at OSU. Five pieces for flute and other instruments, written by composition students Antoine Clarke, David Nelson Tomasacci, David Morneau, Yoojin Kim and Matthew Saunders, were performed and judged. The winning piece was Trio for Flute, Clarinet and Bassoon by Yoojin Kim. Finalists were pieces by Tomasacci and Clarke. In addition, a performers prize went to flutist Morgann Davis.

04.03.07The Azmari Quartet in Concert with Antoine Clark