John Williams wrote his Clarinet Concerto for Michele Zukovsky in 1991. The recording is from a live performance with John Williams Conducting and Michele Zukovsky as the Clarinet Soloist.
Williams has received forty-three Academy Award nominations, making him the Academy's most nominated living person. He has been awarded five Oscars, three British Academy Awards, eighteen Grammys, three Golden Globes, four Emmys and many gold and platinum records.
The Clarinet Concerto by Pulitzer and Grammy Winning Composer John Corigliano is in three movements, of which the first, Cadenzas, is somewhat unusual. It consists of two contrasted accompanied cadenzas separated by a short, energetic interlude. The second movement Elegy, in memory of the composer’s father, is the weightiest and the most deeply felt of the whole work. "I still find it hard to think of the orchestra [NYPO] without him [Corigliano’s father] sitting in the first chair" (the composer’s words). The movement includes several duos for the soloist and the leader. The third movement Antiphonal Toccata fully lives up to its title, and is bustling and energetic bringing the work to a jubilant conclusion.
Principal Clarinetist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic MICHELE ZUKOVSKY has appeared frequently at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Music Center, and she has been a guest soloist with orchestras throughout the world. Ms. Zukovsky also performs regularly at the Philharmonic's Chamber Music Society concerts and she has participated in a number of premieres as a soloist with the Orchestra's New Music Group. She gave the world premiere of John Williams's Clarinet Concerto with the Boston Pops which was written for her. She collaborates with a number of chamber ensembles, most notably the Angeles and St. Petersburg String Quartets. She has appeared in New York with Concerts at the Y, Ravinia, Lincoln Center, and "Mostly Mozart" ensembles. Ms. Zukovsky tours worldwide as a chamber musician and soloist, and gives master classes throughout the world. She is currently on the faculty at the University of Southern California. She studied clarinet with her father, Kalman Bloch, a former principal with the Orchestra. Michele has recorded for London/Decca, Avant, Nonesuch, and Summit records. This recording features the Williams Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra with the added bonus of the last movement version for Clarinet and Piano.