Born on October 22, 1928 in Durand, Michigan, Clare Fischer is an uncommonly versatile musician, a master with many muses. Trained in the classics, inspired by jazz artists, healed by the rhythms of Latin and Brazilian music, his eclectic sound finds expression in every chart and instrument he touches.
A veteran studio musician and a composer of rare quality, Fischer began his studies in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at South High School with director of music, Glenn Litton. After receiving his master's degree in composition from Michigan State University, where he studied with Dr. H. Owen Reed, he traveled extensively with The Hi-Lo's as pianist-conductor for 5 years. About the same time, his musical ascension began with his critically acclaimed arrangements for Dizzy Gillespie's A Portrait of Duke Ellington. Fischer's influences, absorbed along the way, are as distinct as his music: Stravinsky and Shostakovich, Bartok and Berg, Dutilleux, boogie-woogie pianist Meade Lux Lewis, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Bud Powell and early Lee Konitz - Fischer's self-expression knows no boundaries.
I relate to everything, he explains. I'm not just jazz, Latin, or classical. I really am a fusion of all of those, not today's fusion, but my fusion.
In 1983 classical concert artist Richard Stoltzman commissioned Fischer to write a symphonic work using Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn themes. The resulting composition, The Duke, Swee'pea and Me, features Stoltzman on clarinet, and is performed with symphony orchestras around the world. More recently Fischer was commissioned by Stoltzman to write a Sonatine for Clarinet and Piano in three movements, which he has recorded with RCA on his album, American Clarinet and is being published by Advance Music in Germany.