Richard Stoltzman’s virtuosity, technique, imagination, and communicative power have revolutionized the world of clarinet playing, opening up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted. He was responsible for bringing the clarinet to the forefront as a solo instrument, and is still the world’s foremost clarinetist. Stoltzman 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. As one of today’s most sought-after artists, Stoltzman has been a soloist with more than a hundred orchestras as well as a recitalist and chamber music performer, innovative jazz artist, and prolific recording artist. A two-time Grammy Award winner, he has amazed critics and audiences alike in repertory spanning many musical genres.
Stoltzman’s talents as a jazz performer as well as a classical artist have been heard far beyond his annual tours. He has performed and recorded with such classical, jazz, and pop greats as Emmanual Az, Yo-Yo Ma, Gary Burton, the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Eddie Gomez, Keith Jarrett, the King’s Singers, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Mel Tormé, and Spyro Gyra founder Jeremy Wall. Stoltzman frequently performs with his son Peter John Stoltzman, a talented classical and jazz pianist and composer.
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 studied with Kalmen Opperman at Columbia University. He makes his home in Massachusetts and is a passionate Boston Red Sox fan. He is also a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef whose specialty is the Linzer Torte.