Clarinetist James Campbell Gets ‘Eclectic’ With Camerata Orchestra

The clarinet was in its infancy. It had only five keys. Today we’ve got scads of them

The Camerata Orchestra led by founder Lenore Hatfield presents a concert titled “Eclectic” on Sunday November 15, 2009 in Carmichael Hall of Bloomington South H.S. Bruce Hangen will be the guest conductor and James Campbell the clarinet soloist.

“I’ll be playing Mozart’s Concerto and it’s a bit of a reunion with Camerata for me. I played the concerto with them years ago in their second season. The Mozart is an incredible piece. It’s one of his last works and a wonderful one. The clarinet was in its infancy. It had only five keys. Today we’ve got scads of them, but every thing he wrote just fitted the instrument then and today as well. It’s simply the best piece that we have and both students and professionals fight to have the opportunity to play it.”

Campbell talked a bit more about the instrument itself and some developments that he’s been helping with. “A few years ago I mentioned to some of my colleagues here at Indiana who play with me in the The Indiana Clarinet Trio that I was experimenting with a “plastic” reed. I kind of put the word “plastic” in quotes because the actual material is quite complex. At the time they scoffed, but as the product has been refined, they’re becoming more receptive. If a really good wooden reed at its peak is a ten, these are consistently nine and a half.”

Campbell is looking forward to playing with conductor Bruce Hangen. “We met and played together some years ago. When he was an assistant conductor for the Boston Pops he invited me to join them for one of their big concerts. It’ll be good to see him, to play together and to renew old ties.”

In addition to the Mozart Concerto, the Camerata will play Kabalevsky’s overture to Colas Breugnon, a suite from Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss and Piston’s The Incredible Flutist.

James Campbell
Camerata Orchestra
Sunday November 15, 2009
Carmichael Hall Bloomington South H.S.

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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