Clarinetist and composer Eric Mandat is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking contributions to contemporary clarinet music. The Chicago Reader states, “Mandat is exploring new worlds…with a unique combination of virtuosity and a creative use of multiphonics…he uses them to create highly personal and expressive compositions that…are loaded with musical meaning.” The Village Voice notes the “suave physicality” of his presence as a performer, and finds his style to be “riveting.”
Mandat tours world-wide as a soloist and chamber musician, presenting lectures and recitals featuring new American clarinet music as well as traditional repertoire. He has premiered his works at international conferences in Chicago, Stockholm, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Porto, and has appeared as soloist with the Latvian National Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. Mandat is a member of the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW ensemble, which recently performed works by Elliott Carter and Bruno Mantovani under the direction of Maestro Pierre Boulez. He also performs with The Transatlantic Trio, which has concertized in the United States and Europe. Of the group’s recording of trios by Brahms and d’Indy, Fanfare states they “easily rank with the best available recording. Highly recommended!”
Mandat is also a member of Tone Road Ramblers, an eclectic sextet specializing in improvisation and experimental music. They perform at such venues as Merkin Hall in New York and new music festivals nationwide, and are presented by such organizations as the World Music Institute. Their CD, Intersections & Detours, is described by Option magazine as “filled with wit, joy and creative sparkle.” Their latest CD, Dancing With the Ramblers features Mandat’s Dark Energy, together with extended works by Morgan Powell and John Fonville.
As a composer, Mandat focuses primarily on solo and chamber works for clarinet. His compositions utilize extended techniques within a framework largely influenced by jazz and traditional music of non-Western cultures. The Clarinet finds that his ” process at writing and playing is bound to leave any listener in awe… (One) is constantly challenged and surprised by gorgeous tone color changes, exciting rhythmic action and 21st century clarinetistry.” Of his latest CD of his compositions for clarinet, Black Swirls, The Clarinet raves, “Mandat provides tremendous musical interest with his impressive display of tonal colors, dynamic control…rhythmic variety and groove, and imaginative playing.” Mandat is a recipient of the 2000, 2005, and 2009 Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Awards for composition. His music is featured in concerts and recordings by clarinetists throughout the world.
Mandat received his education at the University of North Texas (B.M.), the Yale School of Music (M.M.), and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). His principal teachers included Richard Joiner, Lee Gibson, Keith Wilson, Stanley Hasty, and Charles Neidich. He is Professor of Music and Distinguished Scholar at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where he teaches clarinet and graduate courses in musical analysis.
Eric Mandat is a Buffet-Crampon USA performing artist and clinician.
Anthony Taylor has been on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro College of Visual and Performing Arts and Principal Clarinet of the Winston-Salem Symphony since 2007. He has been an Artist/Teacher for the Eastern Music Festival since 2013 and previously served on the faculty of the Hot Springs Music Festival (Arkansas) from 2008–2012. He has formerly held positions with the Spokane Symphony, the Boise Philharmonic, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, and Whitman College.
Taylor’s clarinet playing can be heard on the Navona, Centaur, Naxos American Classics and Gothic recording labels, most recently on two Centaur Records projects with New Music Raleigh and on Exhaling Space, a Navona release of UNCG composer Alejandro Rutty’s. Other recent recordings include the world premiere recording of Brett William Dietz’s opera introspective Headcase and the debut recording of composer DJ Sparr, 21207. He is currently finishing up a new recording project of electroacoustic works featuring works of several living composers, including Thea Musgrave, Alejandro Rutty, D. Edward Davis, and Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn.
Performances by Andy Hudson have been hailed as “a treat for the listener,” and have been praised for “an uncommon singularity of purpose, technical virtuosity, youthful vigor and a mature sensitivity.” Andy has performed at the World Congress of the International Alliance for Women in Music, the New Music Gathering, the College Music Society Conference in Vancouver, and gatherings of the International Clarinet Association’s ‘ClarinetFest’ in Los Angeles, Orlando, Knoxville, and Ostend, Belgium. He has appeared in venues like Carnegie Hall’s ‘Weill Recital Hall’ and Chicago’s ‘Symphony Center,’ and has performed across Switzerland and Germany as a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra. Andy has won top honors at the MTNA National Senior Woodwind Competition, the Sewanee Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition, the MTNA Southern Chamber Music Competition, and both the Northwestern University and Columbus State University Concerto Competitions, and received other prizes in the National Collegiate Solo Competition and the Vandoren Emerging Artists Competition. A frequent soloist, Andy has recently performed the concerti of Weber, Daugherty, Mozart, and Zare among others. Several of Andy’s performances have been broadcast on WFMT Chicago.
A noted interpreter of contemporary music, Andy has premiered and commissioned dozens of works to date and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on their MusicNOW series, at the Bang on a Can Summer Marathon, and at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Eastman School of Music, and Constellation. He gave the Midwest Premiere of Michael Hersch’s chamber opera “On The Threshold of Winter” with Ensemble Dal Niente and soprano Ah Young Hong, of which the Chicago Tribune said, “The eight Dal Niente musicians threw themselves into this challenging music with a razor-sharp bite and precision that was jaw-dropping.” Andy is clarinetist and bass clarinetist with Latitude 49, a sextet that blends the finesse of a classical ensemble with the drive and precision of a rock band, and which recently held residencies at Princeton University and Baylor University. He has also appeared with a.pe.ri.od.ic and the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, and is a core member of F-PLUS, The Zafa Collective, earspace, and 10th & Broadway. Andy has recently performed as guest principal clarinet of the North Carolina Opera and the Winston-Salem Symphony, and he has been principal clarinet of the Tennessee Valley Music Festival Orchestra since 2010, where each summer he joins the Artist-Faculty to work with talented middle and high school students from around the Southeast United States and Costa Rica.
Andy is currently Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and he was appointed the North Carolina State Chair for the International Clarinet Association in 2019. He previously held teaching positions at Northwestern University and Lake Forest College. Andy earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Clarinet Performance with a Cognate Certification in Music Theory from Northwestern University, where he also earned his Master of Music degree. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. His primary teachers have included Steve Cohen, J. Lawrie Bloom, and Lisa Oberlander. When he’s not practicing, Andy enjoys running, reading, playing guitar, eating local food, watching baseball, and acquiring obscure instruments.