Richard Stoltzman's virtuosity, musicianship and sheer personal magnetism have made him one of today's most sought-after concert artists. As soloist with over a hundred orchestras, a captivating recitalist, an innovative jazz artist, and a prolific recording artist, this two-time Grammy Award winner has defied categorization, dazzling critics and audiences alike throughout many musical genres. 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 at both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and became the first wind player to receive the Avery Fisher Prize. He has performed or recorded with such jazz and pop greats as Gary Burton, the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Keith Jarrett, the King’s Singers, Mike Manieri, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Mel Tormé, Spyro Gyra founder Jeremy Wall and Kazumi Watanabe. His commitment to new music has resulted in numerous premieres, including acclaimed clarinet works written for him by Steve Reich, Toru Takemitsu, Stephen Hartke, Einojuhani Rautavaara and Yehudi Wyner. As a ten-year 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.
The listener was struck – awestruck, even – by Stoltzman’s expressive range, the wide array of musical colors he brings to the music, the varied sounds: seductive, biting, poetic, witty, beautiful, ugly. And when he plays softly, it is a thrilling softness, an intense quietude, a breathtaking diminuendo. LOS ANGELES TIMES