35 years of clarinet at Fresno State celebrated with a concert and masterclasses

Boris Allakhverdyan

In 1987, with a freshly minted DMA in clarinet performance, Professor Miles Ishigaki came to Fresno State and began building the clarinet program. Through partnerships with the CSU Summer Arts, he developed connections with artists around the world for the benefit of his students. Over the years, Ishigaki has worked to connect students to the best artists and teachers available through programs such as the West Coast Clarinet Congress and worked with local high schools to develop budding musicians through clinics and live performances with guest artists from around the country.

Dr. Miles Ishigaki
Dr. Miles Ishigaki

To commemorate 35 years of clarinet at Fresno State, the community is invited to experience the artistry of Boris Allakhverdyan, the principal clarinet for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He and his wife, award-winning pianist Alin Melik-Adamyan, combine to form the “Allakhverdyan Duo” for the Celebration of Clarinet concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 2 in the Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for university employees and seniors, $8 for non-Fresno State students and free for Fresno State students. Parking is relaxed on weekends and suggested in lots P1 or P4.

The “Allakhverdyan Duo” will perform works by Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, Bloch, Rosenblatt,  Debussy, Williams, D’Rivera and Kovács. These pieces highlight the unique dynamic textural qualities of the clarinet through nearly two centuries of composition.

“Allakhverdyan’s performance will showcase a breadth of solo clarinet repertoire that will demonstrate musical imagery in our mind’s eyes through the wide spectrum of tonal colors and vibrant timbres of the clarinet,” Ishigaki said. “I invite everyone to come to his concert and masterclasses to listen, learn, relax and enjoy music artistry at work at Fresno State.”

Allakhverdyan will lead a masterclass at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1, in the band rehearsal room 127. While Fresno State students will be participating in the masterclass, clarinet enthusiasts, musicians and Valley students are invited to learn and observe. The event is free, and parking is relaxed after 4 p.m. on Friday in lots P1 or P4.

Beyond his current position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Allakhverdyan has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York and the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra as well as orchestras worldwide, including Canada, Russia, Armenia and Kazakhstan. He has also participated in festivals in Switzerland, Germany and Italy. He was also the Gold Medal winner of the prestigious 2007 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He serves on the faculty at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and California State University, Fullerton.

As part of the 35 Years of Clarinet, one of the most sought-after clarinetists of today, Ricardo Morales with the Philadelphia Orchestra, taught a virtual masterclass with Fresno State students in February. While COVID-19 postponed Morales’ visit to campus, he plans to perform in concert at Fresno State during the Fall of 2022 or Spring of 2023. As part of his visit, he will also be visiting high schools around the Central Valley. A final date is expected to be announced early in the Fall semester.

“Ricardo Morales’ performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra are awe-inspiring, and his intuitive sensitivity on display in his master classes are noteworthy for all master teachers to learn from,” Ishigaki said. “Morales’ master class was ‘awesome,’ according to the students’ comments.”
The 35 Years of Clarinet events are sponsored by Fresno State, ASI of Fresno State, College of Arts and Humanities, Armenian Studies Program, Department of Music, Luyben Music, Bauer General Dentistry, Rubber Soul, Benzler Farms, Skyepack Inc., Uebel Clarinets, Groth Music, Professor Aaron Marcus Luna and Yamaha Clarinets.

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Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities Communication Specialist

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