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David Shifrin

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Biography

As a clarinetist and teacher of that instrument, David Shifrin is among the finest currently active; as artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, he has helped maintain and develop one of his country's most prestigious musical bodies; and as a passionate servant of new music, he has prodded and tugged a series of composers into penning a body of healthy supplements to the repertoire (both clarinet and chamber). Shifrin is simply one of those people whose name always seems to pop up whenever and wherever something exciting is happening in the sometimes humdrum world of American classical music. Born in New York City in 1950, Shifrin attended that city's High School of Performing Arts and then, from 1965 to 1967, the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. He studied at the Curtis Institute until 1973 and then played clarinet in a succession of high-profile American orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, all the while building an equally high-profile solo career for himself. He has taught at the University of Michigan (1976 - 1982), the Cleveland Institute of Music (1974 - 1976, coincident with the Cleveland Orchestra job), the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, the Juilliard School and, most recently, Yale University. In 1989, he was invited to join the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and three years later he took up its directorship; among the prominent American composers from whom he, in that role, has commissioned scores are John Corigliano and Stephen Albert. Shifrin's many honors include an Avery Fisher Career Grant (1987) and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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