Don Byron

Legendary clarinetist and composer Don Byron forges what he calls “a sound above genre”

Rome Prize recipient, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and 2007 Guggenheim Fellow Don Byron returns to MIT for the Great Clarinet Summit in 2018. He’ll be joined by Billy Novick, Evan Ziporyn, Eran Egozy, a special guest artist and the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble & MIT Wind Ensemble, led by Music Director Frederick Harris, Jr. The exciting and eclectic program will include Byron’s Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, music for jazz and chamber ensembles featuring the clarinet and a special world premiere featuring all guest soloists.

In 2012, Byron came to MIT to collaborate with students and faculty to experiment in the concert hall and the music studio. MIT has a long-standing tradition of commissioning new music and opera that is first performed by professionally led student ensembles in an educational setting.

During his first visit in a series of three performances during the 2012–13 academic year, Byron worked closely with students from the Boston Arts Academy to present a gospel concert with his own New Gospel Quintet in October 2012.

In March 2013, the MIT Wind Ensemble, conducted by Harris, premiered a concerto written by Byron with a clarinet solo by . Byron is well known at MIT, having visited campus to perform with his ensemble and Paul Auster, and he was appointed a Martin Luther King Scholar in 2008–09.

The MIT Wind Ensemble is composed of outstanding MIT student musicians studying a wide variety of fields. Since 2001, the MIT Wind Ensemble has commissioned 20 original works by MIT faculty and internationally renowned composers.

The 2017–18 MIT Sounding Performance Series is presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and MIT Music and Theater Arts.

 

Don Byron, a singular voice in a broad range of musical contexts, is acclaimed as much for his restless creativity as for his unsurpassed virtuosity as a player. Byron has presented a multitude of projects at major music festivals around the world. Launched in 2009, Don Byron’s New Gospel Quintet grows out of his in-depth studies of gospel music.

More at the artist’s website: Don Byron.

Upcoming Events

The Great Clarinet Summit
May 11, 2018 / 8:00pm
MIT Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

$10 general admission, $5 for clarinet students. Tickets are free for the MIT community in advance, and $5 at the door.

This unique event features renowned clarinetists Don Byron, Evan Ziporyn, Billy Novick, Eran Egozy, and a surprise guest artist along with the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble & MIT Wind Ensemble, led by Music Director Frederick Harris, Jr. The exciting and eclectic program will include Byron’s Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, music for jazz and chamber ensembles featuring the clarinet, a special world premiere featuring all guest soloists, and a community play-along piece for all attending clarinetists of all ages!*

*If you are a clarinetist and interested in the community play-along piece, please email clarinet_summit@mit.edu.

 

 

Past Events

Artist Presentation: Don Byron Composer Forum
March 13, 2013

Byron speaks about his new Clarinet Concerto to be premiered by the MIT Wind Ensemble; Evan Ziporyn, soloist, on March 16 in Kresge Auditorium.

 

Don Byron New Gospel Quintet
October 27, 2012

Legendary clarinetist Don Byron brings his newest project to MIT. It features the music of gospel pioneer Thomas A. Dorsey. Byron’s album Love, Peace and Soul (released in February 2012 on Savoy Jazz) mixes his original jazz compositions with traditional gospel works. Joining Don Byron and his New Gospel Quintet on stage is a chorus of students from Boston Arts Academy, an innovative public high school for the performing and visual art

 

Don Byron and Evan Ziporyn: Concerto for Clarinet With the MIT Wind Ensemble Conducted by Frederick Harris Jr. and Kenneth Amis
March 16, 2013

World premiere of Byron’s Concerto for Clarinet; Ives, Fugue in C, Variations on “America”; Mendelssohn, Overture for Winds; Arnold, Four Scottish Dances; Bach, Fugue in G minor (for saxophone ensemble), Sonata No. 1 in G minor, Presto (for clarinet ensemble), arranged by Byron.

 

Class Visits
Rehearsal with MIT Wind Ensemble

Visit to Martin Mark’s Film Music Course

Irish Independent: May is a Fiesta of Jazz with Two Festivals

Theatermania: The Inaugural Doris Duke Artists

Youtube: Live on Soundcheck on WNYC

Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards: Don Byron

The Boston Music Intelligencer: Wind Exhilarations at Kresge

The Arts Fuse: Fuse Jazz Review

Frederick Harris, Director of the MIT Wind Ensemble and the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble and a Lecturer in Music in Music and Theater Arts

Evan Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music in Music and Theater Arts and the Faculty Director of the MIT Center for Art, Science and Technology

The MIT Wind Ensemble

Don Byron at MIT. Credit: L. Barry Hetherington.
Don Byron at MIT. Credit: L. Barry Hetherington.

More about the Residency

Selected Past Projects