Todd Levy

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Todd Levy is an American classical clarinetist.

Todd Levy

He is principal clarinet of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and, during the summer months, the Santa Fe Opera. He is also on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

He made his debut at the age of seventeen performing the Paul Hindemith Clarinet Concerto at Lincoln Center. Mr. Levy won his first Principal Clarinet audition at the age of 18 when he was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Stamford (Connecticut) Symphony. Since then, some highlights of his solo career have included concerto appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, with the Israel Philharmonic in Tel-Aviv, performances of the Johannes Brahms F minor Sonata arranged for clarinet and orchestra by Luciano Berio with Maestro Berio conducting, the World Premiere of Peter Schickele's Concerto for Clarinet and Flute with the composer conducting, the European premiere of John Harbison's Concerto for Clarinet and Oboe, and the World Premiere of Marc Neikrug's Clarinet Concerto in March 2010 with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Mr. Levy was a featured soloist in the Mozart Bicentennial at Lincoln Center where he performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto at the Mostly Mozart Festival. In November 1998, Mr. Levy performed George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the White House for President and Mrs. Bill Clinton. A frequent soloist for the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Mr. Levy, at the request of choreographer Lar Lubovitch, performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in the U.S. Premiere of the Company's Concerto 622 at Carnegie Hall. Since then, he has collaborated with the company numerous times in performances of this work at New York's City Center and also with New York City Ballet Orchestra at the Dancing For Life AIDS benefit at Lincoln Center's New York State Theater.

In 1988, Mr. Levy was invited by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas to become the principal clarinet of the New World Symphony where he stayed until 1993. In January 1996, Mr. Levy made his debut as guest principal clarinet with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in all eight performances of Janáček's The Makropulos Case with soprano Jessye Norman. Since that time and until coming to Milwaukee, Mr. Levy appeared regularly with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and as Eb clarinetist on all of the Met Chamber Ensemble concerts at Carnegie Hall with James Levine conducting and playing the piano. In addition to the Met, he has been guest principal clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes.

An active chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Cleveland, Orion, Mendelssohn, Ying and Miami Quartets, the Beaux Arts Trio, Pinchas Zuckerman, James Levine, Carol Wincenc, Paula Robison, Nancy Allen, Christoph Eschenbach, Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, and Marc Neikrug. He was also clarinetist with the Naumburg Award-winning Aspen Wind from 1992–1997 and a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival for four summers. He has also given World Premiere performances of chamber music pieces by Joan Tower, Paquito DRivera, Morton Subotnick.

Recent highlights are the launch of www.toddlevy.org, Principal Clarinet for 2005, 2006, 2008 seasons of the Tokyo Opera Nomori under Seiji Ozawa and Riccardo Muti in Tokyo, and Principal Clarinet with the 2006 Saito Kinen Festival Orchestra under Alan Gilbert. In 2010, he recorded and co-edited the new Boosey and Hawkes edition of the Bernstein Clarinet Sonata which is now in book/CD form. Mr. Levy can also be heard on the 2008 release of Marc Neikrug's Through Roses chamber work for the Koch label, together with violinist Pinchas Zuckerman, actor John Rubenstein and the composer conducting. His latest recording of the Brahms Clarinet Sonatas with UWM faculty member Elena Abend on the Avie label was just released. In June 2007, he recorded three book/CD's entitled the "Clarinet Collection" for the G. Schirmer Instrumental Library Collection. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, BMG and Telarc. Mr. Levy is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he studied with David Weber. He performs exclusively on Selmer Signature Clarinets and Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces.

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