Sunday, June 20, 2010



On May 17, 2010 I heard Berkeley Price play the Artie Shaw Concerto for Clarinet (arrangement by Ted Parsons for concert band) at the Lancaster Performing Arts Center in a concert presented by Antelope Valley College. Price conducts the Antelope Valley Concert Band and the Antelope Valley College Clarinet Choir and serves as Professor of Music Theory. The Artie Shaw concerto was conducted on this concert by guest conductor Dr. David Newby and also featured Lucas Zumbado on drums.

A leading musician of the swing era, Artie Shaw’s (1910-2004) clarinet concerto was featured in the movie Second Chorus (1940) and shows the astounding range of Shaw’s own clarinet playing and great technical facility. Shaw started to perform professionally in the mid-1920s, both jazz and classical music. Compositionally, Shaw was influenced by Stravinsky and Debussy. This year marks the centenary of Shaw’s birth and many performances of this and other Shaw works are being heard around the world. Berkeley Price played this concerto brilliantly and with pizzazz. It was thrilling to hear it and Price should play this concerto any chance he gets. I heard the Antelope Valley Concert Band last year and they have made extraordinary progress in a very short time.

Berkeley Price holds both the Master and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Peter Hadcock, Eli Eban, and Kenneth Grant. His solo and ensemble tours have taken him to Europe, China, Ukraine, Japan, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and throughout the United States. Congratulations to Berkeley Price and Antelope Valley College and happy 100th birthday to Artie Shaw.

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