Upcoming Concerts

  • Wed

    Orchestra of St.Lukes - Baermann (Wagner) Adagio

    David Koch Theater
  • Thu

    The Cape Cod Chamber Music Festivival Benefit

    6:30 pmSteinway Hall, NYC
  • Fri

    Virginia Symphony, Bernstein- Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs

    8:00 pmFergusen Center for the Arts, Newport News


ManasseAmong the most distinguished classical artists of his generation, clarinetist Jon Manasse is internationally recognized for his inspiring artistry, uniquely glorious sound and charismatic performing style.

Recent season highlights include return performances with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and debuts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, The Chappaqua Orchestra, Montana’s Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Oregon’s Rogue Valley Symphony. With pianist Jon Nakamatsu, he continues to tour throughout the United States as half of the acclaimed Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. The Duo’s activities include the world premiere performances of Paquito D’Rivera’s The Cape Cod Concerto with Symphony Silicon Valley, conducted by Leslie B. Dunner.

Jon Manasse’s solo appearances include New York City performances at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Hunter College’s Sylvia & Danny Kaye Playhouse, Columbia University, Rockefeller University and The Town Hall, fourteen tours of Japan and Southeast Asia – all with the New York Symphonic Ensemble, debuts in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Osaka and concerto performances with Gerard Schwarz and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, both at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and at the prestigious Tokyu Bunkamura Festival in Tokyo. With orchestra, he has been guest soloist with the Augsburg, Dayton, Evansville, Naples and National philharmonics, Canada’s Symphony Nova Scotia, the National Chamber Orchestra and the Alabama, Annapolis, Bozeman, Dubuque, Florida West Coast, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jackson, Oakland East Bay, Pensacola, Princeton, Richmond, Seattle, Stamford and Wyoming symphonies, under the batons of Leslie B. Dunner, Peter Leonard, Eckart Preu, Matthew Savery, Alfred Savia and Lawrence Leighton Smith. Of special distinction was Mr. Manasse’s 2002 London debut in a Barbican Centre performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with Gerard Schwarz and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

During the 2009-2010 season, Jon Manasse gave the world premiere performances of Lowell Liebermann’s Concerto for Clarinet & Orchestra with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Neal Gittleman – performances that were recorded for commercial CD release. Subsequent performances included those with the symphony orchestras of Evansville, Juneau, Las Cruces, North State (CA), Roanoke and the University of Massachusetts.

An avid chamber musician, Jon Manasse has been featured in New York City programs with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Walter Reade Theatre (on Lincoln Center’s “Great Performers Series”), The Sylvia & Danny Kaye Playhouse and Merkin Concert Hall; at the Aspen Music Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Colorado Springs Music Festival, Newport Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival and France’s Festival International des Arts, as well as the chamber music festivals of Bridgehampton, Cape and Islands, Crested Butte, Georgetown, St. Bart’s, Seattle and Tucson. He has also been the guest soloist with many of the leading chamber ensembles of the day, including The Amadeus Trio and Germany’s Trio Parnassus and the American, Borromeo, Colorado, Lark, Manhattan, Moscow, Orion, Rossetti, Shanghai, Tokyo and Ying String Quartets, and has collaborated with violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Jon Nakamatsu.

Manasse is also principal clarinetist of the American Ballet Theater Orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. In 2008 he was also appointed principal clarinetist and Ensemble Member of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City. As one of the nation’s most highly sought-after wind players, has also served as guest principal clarinetist of the New York Pops Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and New Jersey, Saint Louis and Seattle Symphony Orchestras, under the batons of Gerard Schwarz, Zdenek Macal, Jerzy Semkow, Robert Craft and Hugh Wolff. For several seasons, he was also the principal clarinetist of the New York Chamber Symphony. Mr. Manasse has been a guest clarinetist with the New York Philharmonic in concerts conducted by Valery Gergiev and André Previn, and, during the 2003-04 season, served as the principal clarinetist of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, performing under the batons of Artistic Director James Levine and, among others, Andrew Davis, Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Jurowski.

In addition to the premiere performances of Lowell Liebermann’s Clarinet Concerto, which was commissioned for him, Jon Manasse has also presented the world premieres of James Cohn’s Concerto for Clarinet & String Orchestra at the international ClarinetFest ’97 at Texas Tech University and, in 2005, of Steven R. Gerber’s Clarinet Concerto with the National Philharmonic.

Jon Manasse has six critically acclaimed CDS on the XLNT label: the complete clarinet concerti of Weber, with Lukas Foss and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra; the complete works for clarinet and piano of Weber, with pianist Samuel Sanders; recording premieres of 20th Century clarinet works; “Clarinet Music from 3 Centuries,” including Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet (with the Shanghai Quartet), as well as music by Spohr, Gershwin and James Cohn; James Cohn’sClarinet Concerto #2; and the concerti of Mozart, Nielsen and Copland, with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. Also available are his recordings of Steven R. Gerber’s Clarinet Concerto with Vladimir Lande and the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony on the Arabesque label and Lowell Liebermann’s Quintet for Clarinet, Piano and String Trio on KOCH International. His debut CD with pianist Jon Nakamatsu, a harmonia mundi album of the Brahms Clarinet Sonatas, was released to international rave reviews, early in 2008. 2010 saw the release of concerti by Mozart and Spohr with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony, also on the harmonia mundi label.

Jon Manasse is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with David Weber.  Mr. Manasse was a top prize winner in the Thirty-Sixth International Competition for Clarinet in Munich and the youngest winner of the International Clarinet Society Competition. Currently, he is an official “Performing Artist” of both the Buffet Crampon Company and Vandoren, the Parisian firms that are the world’s oldest and most distinguished clarinet maker and reed maker, respectively. Since 1995, he has been Associate Professor of Clarinet at the Eastman School of Music; in the fall of 2007 Mr. Manasse joined the faculty of his alma mater, The Juilliard School.

Jon Manasse and his Duo partner, the acclaimed pianist Jon Nakamatsu, serve as Artistic Directors of the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, an appointment announced during summer 2006.


Jon Nakamatsu, pianist: jonnakamatsu.com

Orchestra of St. Luke’s: oslmusic.org



  • Adagio


  • Prelude, Fugue & Riffs (1949)


  • Concerto for Clarinet & Orchestra


  • Concerto for Clarinet & Viola, Op. 88


  • Concertina for Clarinet & Small Orchestra, Op. 48

COHN, James

  • Concerto #1 for Clarinet & String Orchestra, Op. 62 (1986)
  • Concerto #2 for Clarinet & String Orchestra, Op. 75 (“Evocations”)


  • Concerto for Clarinet & String Orchestra (1948)


  • Concerto for Clarinet & Orchestra ( 1977)


  • Premiere rapsodie ( orchestrated 1911)


  • Concerto inc for Clarinet & Strings, Op. 31 (1949)


  • Concerto

GERBER, Steven R.

  • Concerto (2000-2002)


  • 3 Preludes (arr. I.Cohn for clarinet & strings)


  • Concerto ( 194 7)


  • Concerto for Clarinet, Op. 110 (world premiere, November 2009)


  • Concerto in A, K. 622


  • Concerto, Op. 57 (1928)


  • Concerto for Clarinet & Orchestra (1967)


  • Variations in C ( 1809)

SHAW, Artie

  • Concerto for Clarinet (1940)


  • Concerto #1 inc, Op. 26
  • Concerto #2 in E-flat, Op. 57
  • Concerto #3 in f
  • Concerto #4 in e
  • Variations on a Theme of Danzi, Op. 81


  • Concerto #3 in B-flat
  • Concerto # 11 in E-flat


  • Duet-Concertina for Clarinet, Bassoon, Strings & Harp (194 7)


  • Andante & Rondo ungarese in c
  • Concertina in E-fl at, J. 109
  • Concerto # 1 in f, J. 114
  • Concerto #2 in E-flat, J. 118


At the center of such varying qualities was an absolutely first-rate clarinet soloist, Jon Manasse. He had the taste, the sound and the technique to project this most beguiling of wind instruments in one of its more beguiling repertory pieces.

The New York Times

All the basic virtuoso qualities — intonation, rhythmic accuracy, flawless phrasing, and the like — are to be heard in Manasse’s playing, yet what sets him apart is his exceptionally beautiful sound. Hearing his warmth of tone in all registers is like listening to a top-class vocalist or violist. It’s radiantly gripping. Several times in my first playing I found myself murmuring “wow.”

San Francisco Classical Voice

Jon Manasse is a wonderful clarinetist. He is almost unbelievably fluent, has a gorgeous tone, and imparts genuine feeling into all of this music. If there is a better clarinetist around, I have not heard him.

American Record Guide

...the standout is clarinetist Jon Manasse, whose playing is almost surreally expressive, poignant at every turn. All told, it's the kind recording worth keeping close at hand. Grade: A

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Jon Manasse is brilliant. He soars over every difficulty crisply and smoothly making it all sound so easy. There is a long solo at the end of the finale of Weber's Second Concerto. Manasse sails through it like Dennis Brain did at the end of finale of Strauss's First Horn Concerto.... Jon Manasse's playing disarms all criticism.


Manasse's supreme breath control and control of nuance is strikingly reminiscent of the late Harold Wright.

The Strad

[Manasse's] tone is consistently ravishing, and he always plays with an exciting sense of musical direction and purpose.... best Modern performance I've ever heard.. Superb playing, I'll return to this disc with the greatest pleasure.

International Record Review 2010

Manasse, former principal clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, has an impeccably smooth tone on the instrument, highlighted to mellow effect in the warm, restrained opening of the Second Brahms Sonata. Nakamatsu, who won the gold medal at the Van Cliburn Competition in 1997, matched and supported Manasse in polished tone, helping to create a sense of surging but contained passion in this autumnal work. Throughout the evening, neither player forced his instrument, aware of the intimate scale of the museum’s Music Room and focusing only on beauty of sound.

The Washington Post

[American Music for Clarinet  & Piano (Bernstein, Gershwin, Novacek, D'Rivera) ] ...(Jon Manasse and Jon Nakamatsu) make disarming music, and revel in virtuoso interplay. Manasse shows both the subtle and antic aspects of his artistry.


[RECORDING FINDS PASSION IN BRAHMS' LATE WORKS FOR CLARINET] The sonatas are lovingly served by clarinetist Jon Manasse and pianist Jon Nakamatsu. Mr. Manasse's warm, mellow tone flows over Mr. Nakamatsu's bold sculpting of the piano parts, anything but 'mere' accompaniments. Glorious music, lovingly played and naturally recorded.


To see what was missing, you had only to wait for principal clarinetist Jon Manasse’s three short solos in the Beethoven Adagio, which arose softly, hesitantly, from the surrounding orchestral fabric and then blossomed into passionate, full-toned utterance, taking as much time on each note as felt right, supported with tender care and exquisite precision by Järvi and the other players. These were magical moments, filled with all the existential wonder and quietness of heart that the Mozart should have had, but didn’t.

The Huffington Post



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