Clarinetist Frank Kowalsky to give free performance at BYU

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An accomplished clarinetist and professor from Florida State University will visit BYU on Thursday to perform a concert that students and professors say will be inspiring, educational and completely free.

Frank Kowalsky is a talented clarinetist with years of experience, and was also a teacher to one of BYU’s own music professors, Jaren Hinckley, who obtained his doctorate in clarinet performance at Florida State. Hinckley expressed excitement to have his old professor come to BYU campus.

“(Mr. Kowalsky) was my professor at Florida State, and I studied with him for a year and a half,” Hinckley said. “I also played alongside him in the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. He is a great clarinetist.”

Frank Kowalsky has performed as the principal clarinetist for the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic and the Northwood Orchestra. Kowalsky also performs with many chamber ensembles throughout the United States.

“I always felt like when (Kowalsky) played with chamber groups, he made the other instrumentalists sound better because he is just that good,” Hinckley said. “He is the type of player that raises the level of play for the whole ensemble.”

A professor at FSU since 1984, Kowalsky has taught many students how to perfect their clarinet performance skills.

Sarah Ruben, a senior majoring in clarinet performance, looks forward to the free concert on Thursday evening.

“I’m really excited because (Mr. Kowalsky) taught Dr. Hinckley, my teacher,” Ruben said. “It’s nice to have guest artists come, because students get to learn from the different styles of performance that each artist has.”

Recently, TV shows and movies have highlighted the skill of playing the clarinet. However, not all of the publicity for the instrument is good. Popular TV shows like “Spongebob Squarepants” have showcased the clarinet as screechy and loud.

“The clarinet can tend to have a bad reputation because people are used to hearing their younger siblings squawking away,” Ruben said. “The clarinet has a huge range, and it’s a great instrument. On Thursday night (students) have a chance to hear a world-class clarinetist, so it’s worth going to.”

The performance on Thursday night will feature works from Debussy, Mendelssohn and Brahms. Kowalsky will also be accompanied by Jaren Hinckley.

“I get to play a duet with him,” Hinckley said. “The pieces that will be performed are some of the best works from these performers.”

The free performance will be held in the Madsen Recital Hall on Thusday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m.

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