General Description of Work: Since the first time I heard a clarinet produce the non-standard tones called extended techniques, I was captivated. I wanted to make music that involved as many kinds of sounds as possible. As a performer, I have sought out pieces that use this kind of liberated noise as an integral part of the composition. The music I perform is exciting, fresh, and relevant to twenty-first century life. The level of artistic excellence for each performance is consistently high. My performances connect with audiences in a personal and emotional way. In order to further these goals, I work with composers frequently to create music that speaks meaningfully with listeners.
Bio: Gregory Oakes is one of the most exciting and energetic clarinetists of his generation. From his Carnegie Hall debut with members of Ensemble Intercontemporain and Pierre Boulez to his performances as a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Oakes has been praised by critics for his "outstanding performance" (New York Times) and "jazzy flourishes" (Denver Post). American Record Guide says "Oakes is the rare player who has both excellent classical training and a mastery of the otherworldly procedures demanded by non-traditional repertoire," and Fanfare Magazine lauds the "formidable technical armamentarium at his command." He is a founding member of the new music and creative arts ensemble Non Sequitur, which was heralded by New Music Connoisseur as "utterly sensational." In a performance with Non Sequitur, the Aspen Daily News highlighted him as a "particularly outstanding musician." Non Sequitur has been in residence at Princeton University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, and the Aspen Music Festival.
A flexible and versatile musician, Mr. Oakes has performed with notable musicians in prestigious venues around the world. He has been a concerto soloist with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the Denver Brass, performed with Grammy® Award-winner Terence Blanchard at the Telluride Jazz Festival, and appeared at the Chicago Arts Club. His recordings have been released on Bridge, CRI, Gothic, Karnatic Lab Records, and Naxos and broadcast on National Public Radio. His recent solo CD, New Dialects, appears on the Centaur Records label.
As a soloist, Mr. Oakes has won awards or received commendations in the International Clarinet Competition, National Young Artists' Competition, Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, Coleman Chamber Music Competition, and the Kingsville International Young Artists Competition. He has given solo performances at multiple International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests, the University of Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the International Computer Music Conference, the Crested Butte Chamber Music Festival, Boulder's Modern Music Festival (M2F), Colorado Music Festival's Young Artist Series, and the Pendulum New Music Series. An international artist, Mr. Oakes has performed frequently in the Netherlands at Amsterdam's venerable new music hall De IJsbreker, the Gaudeamus Competition, Concerten Tot en Met, the Karnatic Lab concert series, De Badcuyp, and Utrecht's Theatre Kikker. He has been a featured soloist at the prestigious MaerzMusik festival in Berlin. He has also toured Brazil—performing in Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, and Campinas—and conducted masterclasses at notable Brazilian universities UnB, UNIRIO, and UNICAMP.
Mr. Oakes has been a member of several orchestras including the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, Central City Opera, Colorado Music Festival, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Oakes has performed as a member of the woodwind quintet Category 5 and the award-winning clarinet quartet Ensemble Syzygy.
Mr. Oakes holds a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, a master's degree from DePaul University, and a doctorate from the University of Colorado. His teachers include Bil Jackson, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and John Bruce Yeh. He has been honored as a Tanglewood Music Festival Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar Finalist, and an Aspen Music Festival Fellow. Mr. Oakes has presented masterclasses at such institutions as Michigan State University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, University of California Berkeley, Ithaca College, Eastern Michigan University, and the Aspen Music Festival. He has previously taught at the University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS) and Bemidji State University (Bemidji, MN). Mr. Oakes is on the faculty of Iowa State University (Ames, IA).
Gregory Oakes is a Buffet Crampon USA and a Vandoren Performing Artist.
Services Offered 1: Solo Clarinet Recital: Gregory Oakes performs a 90 minute concert with spoken details from the stage about the pieces. Pre-concert conversations are available upon request.
Services Offered 2: Masterclass: Gregory Oakes conducts a series of open lessons in front of an audience for three to six individual musicians of any ability level.
Services Offered 3: Clinic: Gregory Oakes works with a group of musicians on such musical elements as intonation, rhythm, ensemble performance, and more.
Detailed Description of Performances: Gregory Oakes offers concerts of clarinet music either with piano accompaniment or unaccompanied. These performances feature exciting repertoire, engaging descriptions and anecdotes about the music delivered from the stage between pieces, and the highest level of energy and musical excellence. Below are some sample performance programs. Each concert lasts 90 minutes.
classic Traditional clarinet solo repertoire accompanied by piano. These works are among the most popular pieces written for the clarinet.
Sonata #1 in f minor- Johannes Brahms Time Pieces- Robert Muczynski Fantasy Pieces- Robert Schumann Premiere Rhapsodie- Claude Debussy Moto Perpetuo- Nicolo Paganini
new dialects Unaccompanied clarinet music influenced by non-Western and folk music from around the world. The pieces are varied but are all intriguing and exciting.
Folk Songs- Eric Mandat Monologue- Chen Yi Cinco Bocetos- Roberto Sierra I screamed at the sea...- Ken Ueno Raga Music- John Mayer Apache Clown Dance- Alfred Felder
Regions: All Regions, Central, East, North Central, North East, North West, South Central, South East, South West, West Central
Months available: : January-December
Performance fees, mileage charges, related to arts services: : Recital: $600 Masterclass or Clinic: $300
Accessibility accommodations, space requirements, equipment and all other needs
that should be met by sponsors: : Performance space with audience seating and controllable lighting, music stands