Richard Stoltzman will receive the award at a ceremony on September 1.
The world-renowned award-winning clarinettist Richard Stoltzman is to pick up a prestigious award later this week at Yale. He will be presented with the Sanford Medal by the Yale School of Music tomorrow, Thursday, September 1, 2005 at 7:00 p.m., during the annual convocation ceremony opening the school's new session.
The event will take place in Morse Recital Hall inside Sprague Hall at the Yale School of Music, and will be attended by Stoltzman's former teacher from Yale, Keith Wilson.
Richard Stoltzman will perform "New York Counterpoint," music written for him by American composer Steve Reich. The Sanford Medal, existing since 1972, recognizes celebrated concert artists and distinguished members of the music profession.
The past recipients read like a who's who and include the likes of Eugene Ormandy, Randall Thompson, Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sherrill Milnes, Marilyn Horne, Richard Goode and Emanuel Ax.
Samuel Simons Sanford (1849-1910) was an independently wealthy citizen of Bridgeport, Connecticut and studied piano with William Mason in New York and with Louis Plaidy, Theodore Ritter, Alfred Jaell and Edouard Batiste in Paris.
In 1869, he became acquainted with Anton Rubinstein, with whom he eventually studied; He travelled with Rubinstein during his first American tour in 1872-73. When the great pianist Paderewski first heard Sanford play, he changed his execution of octave playing to comply with the latter's technique. Paderewski once said, in recognition of his genius, "Sanford was the most musically gifted person I ever knew." It was Sanford who brought Sir Edward Elgar's music to the attention of the Damrosch brothers and to Theodore Thomas in America, and who gave Elgar his musical doctorate from Yale in 1905.
Sanford joined the Music Faculty as co-Chairman of the Music Department in 1894, the year that the Yale School of Music was established. During the sixteen years he worked at Yale, he refused to be paid any salary, and although there is only strong circumstantial evidence, Sanford is believed to have been the most influential person in developing the music school at Yale.
Richard Stoltzman's virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of today's most sought after concert artists. As soloist with more than a hundred orchestras, as a captivating recitalist and chamber music performer, as an innovative jazz artist, and as a prolific recording artist, two-time Grammy Award winner Stoltzman has defied categorization, dazzling critics and audiences alike throughout many musical genres.
Stoltzman graduated from Ohio State University with a double major in music and mathematics. He earned his Master of Music degree at Yale University while studying with Keith Wilson, and later worked toward a doctoral degree with Kalmen Opperman at Columbia University. As a long-time participant in the Marlboro Music Festival, Stoltzman gained extensive chamber music experience and subsequently became a founding member of the noted ensemble TASHI, which made its debut in 1973.
Since then, Stoltzman's unique way with the clarinet has earned him an international reputation as he has opened up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted. He gave the first clarinet recitals in the histories of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and, in 1986, became the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. His talents as a jazz performer as well as a classical artist have been heard far beyond his annual tours.
He has performed or recorded with such jazz and pop greats as Gary Burton, the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Eddie Gomez, Keith Jarrett, the King's Singers, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Mel Torme, and Spyro Gyra founder Jeremy Wall. His commitment to new music has resulted in the commissioning and premiere of numerous new works for the clarinet, including "Landscape with Blues" by Stephen Hartke (2001); a new concerto by Einojuhani Rautavaara which premiered in October 2002 with conductor Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall; and "American Dreams" by fellow Yale classmate William Thomas McKinley. All works have recently been recorded by Stoltzman.