2018 McGill Clarinet Day

two students playing clarinet

2nd Annual

McGill Clarinet Day


Elizabeth Wirth Music Building 527 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 1E3, CA

McGill University's clarinet faculty are back to present the 2nd annual McGill Clarinet Day on October 27, 2018 from 9:00am-5:00pm.

Join us in Tanna Schulich Hall and Lobby (Wirth Music Building) at McGill University's Schulich School of Music for a full day of clarinet events. It's a day of classes, workshops and recitals for clarinet students, performers and enthusiasts of all ages and levels!

This year we are pleased to announce our visiting guest artist Richie Hawley, Professor of Clarinet at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas and former Principal Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 1994-2011.  


Richie Hawley


Richie Hawley is a versatile and critically acclaimed artist who ranks among the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. Mr. Hawley was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1994 at the age of 23, only two years after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music. He has since enjoyed a rewarding and multifaceted career as an orchestral clarinetist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and clinician. From 1994-2011, as the Principal Clarinet of the CSO, he impressed audiences around the world with a wide-ranging talent that blended virtuosity and the velvety, sonorous tone that has become his trademark. The Cincinnati Enquirer has praised him for the "seamless flowing tone so many clarinetists long for and few can achieve.” Many of the 60+ recordings by the CSO and Cincinnati Pops during his tenure have featured major solos of the clarinet repertoire. American Record Guide hailed Hawley's "gorgeous" clarinet solo in the CSO's Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 as "the crowning achievement" of the recording by Maestro Jesus Lopez-Cobos.

In 2011 Mr. Hawley became the Professor of Clarinet at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston. During the summer season, he serves as the teaching and performing clarinet artist at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, one of the premiere summer festivals for exceptionally talented musicians from around the world.

Mr. Hawley is dedicated to performing chamber music, and appears regularly as a chamber musician and recitalist throughout the United States and abroad. In 2014/15 he made frequent appearances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as their guest Principal Clarinet. His upcoming chamber music activities include performances at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Da Camera of Houston's chamber music series and an international tour in May 2016 with the Rogue Ensemble. He made his debut at the Marlboro Music Festival in the summers of 1999 and 2000 and performed with the legendary “Musicians from Marlboro” for the Festival's gala 50th anniversary tour at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Hawley has garnered awards as both performer and educator. He won the Coleman-Barstow prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 1988 with Trio con Brio, and that same year was one of five musicians to receive the Gold Medal as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House. He has received the Léni Fé Bland Foundation Career Grant twice, and he was awarded the 2009 Glover Award for Outstanding Teacher of the Year at UC’s College Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Hawley began his clarinet studies with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School of Performing Arts at age 9. He made his orchestral solo debut at 13, performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the winner of its student stars competition. At 14 he performed on one of the New York Philharmonic's young person's subscription concerts as a winner of the Philharmonic's national talent search competition. While a student of Donald Montanaro at the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Hawley appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. A Buffet-Crampon artist, Mr. Hawley performs on the Tosca model of clarinet. He is also a D’Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist and Clinician, and plays exclusively on the Reserve Classic reeds and mouthpieces which he helped to develop. www.richiehawley.com

Jean-Francois Normand


A much sought-after performer on the Quebec music scene, Juilliard School Alumni Jean-François Normand is currently clarinet teacher at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and McGill University in addition to the Domaine Forget Music Academy. Recently, he also joined the “Play with a Pro” team.

Soloist with several orchestras, including the Montreal, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Toronto, Texarkanas Symphony Orchestras and the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, his interpretation of the Mozart Concerto has been praised by the press: “completely natural playing, flawless technique, supple phrasing, beautiful and controlled tone quality, intonation, style, and imaginative use of improvised ornamentation” (Claude Gingras, La Presse). He performed this same concerto in 2005 with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava where it was broadcast to over 16 European countries. He is also frequently heard on Radio-Canada/CBC.

In 2010, Jean-François Normand entered the world of historical performance on period instruments. He recorded a CD for Atma dedicated to the French composer Mehul, along with oboist Washington McClain and bassoonist Mathieu Lussier. His next concerts will take him to Toronto where he will be joining Tafelmusik for a series of concerts in May.

Clarinettiste recherché de la scène québécoise, Jean-François Normand est diplômé de la Juilliard School of Music. Il est titulaire de la classe de clarinette au Conservatoire de musique de Montréal depuis 2000 en plus d'enseigner à l'Université McGill et au Domaine Forget. Il a également joint tout récemment l’équipe de « Play with a Pro ».

Au cours de sa jeune carrière, M. Normand s’est produit comme soliste avec plusieurs orchestres dont l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, de Québec, de Toronto, de Texarkanas et l’Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal. Son interprétation du Concerto pour clarinette de W. A. Mozart a fait l’éloge de la critique: «jeu parfaitement naturel, technique immaculée, phrasé souple, sonorité belle et toujours contrôlée, justesse, style, imagination aussi dans l’improvisation de petits ornements ici et là» (Claude Gingras, La Presse). Il a d’ailleurs présenté ce concerto lors d’un concert avec l’Orchestre Symphonique de la Radio Slovaque, en 2005, à Bratislava, concert diffusé dans plus de 16 pays d’Europe. Ses concerts sont régulièrement entendus sur la Chaîne culturelle de Radio-Canada et sur le réseau CBC.

En 2010, Jean-François Normand a fait son entrée dans le monde de la musique sur instruments d’époque. Il a entre autres enregistré un disque chez Atma aux côtés de Washington McClain et Mathieu Lussier dédié au compositeur français Méhul. Ses prochains concerts l’amèneront à Toronto avec l’ensemble Tafelmusik.

Todd Cope (Principal Clarinet OSM)


Todd Cope is currently Principal Clarinet of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal.  Prior to his appointment with the OSM, Todd was a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Canada) and the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.  Todd graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he studied with Richie Hawley.  He also completed a Professional Studies Certificate at the Colburn School where he studied with Yehuda Gilad.  Other teachers include Carmine Campione, Greg Raden, and Deborah Ungaro Fabian. 

As a concerto soloist, he has been featured with the l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, the Music Academy of the West and the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, among others.  His solo performances have been featured on NPR’s Performance Today and From the Top with host Christopher O’Riley.  In addition, Todd has performed with the Sun Valley and Gran Teton Summer Symphony Orchestras, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and has held fellowships at the Aspen and Eastern music festivals, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West, and the American Institute of Music Studies in Graz, Austria. 

Dedicated to education, Todd has given masterclasses and taught privately across North America and is currently on the faculty at the Schulich School of Music at McGill Unversity.  Todd is an exclusive Buffet Crampon and Vandoren performing artist.  

Simon Aldrich (Principal Clarinet Orchestre Métropolitain)


Called "a spectacular player" by The Los Angeles Times, holder of a doctorate and two masters degrees from Yale University and nominated for an Opus Award as "Discovery of the Year", Simon Aldrich is currently solo clarinet of l'Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, as well as a member of Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. He has also been solo clarinet of the Chicago Classical Symphony and the Colorado Philharmonic. His teachers have included David Shifrin, Joaquin Valdepeñas, Robert Marcellus and Emilio Iacurto and he has also attended Northwestern University and McGill University. He has performed as soloist with the Toronto Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Orchestra London, Chicago Classical Symphony, Chicago North Shore Chamber Symphony, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, l’Orchestre Métropolitain and the Fanshawe Orchestra. With Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Simon has performed across Canada, the United States, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Australia and Japan. His cd of Elliott Carter's Clarinet Concerto won an Opus Award for Best Contemporary Recording in 2002. He is heard regularly on CBC radio and has recorded for the CD labels Atma, SNE, Analekta, CBC, UMMUS, Montaigne Auvidis, Amberola and Sächsische Tonträger. Simon is an Assistant Professor of Music at McGill University and is artistic director of The Jeffery Summer Concerts in London, ON. and has had articles on the composer Johann Melchior Molter published in the American journals Continuo and The Clarinet.


*Clarinet exhibit will be presented all day courtesy of Twigg Musique*

*Minor Instrument repair courtesy of Twigg Musique will be on-site*

  • 9:00-9:25am : Registration and Free Coffee
  • 9:30- 10:30am: Start your day with Simon Aldrich – warming up the clarinet, the importance of a good start.
  • 10:30-11:00am: Choosing the best clarinet for you! With Jack Ding from Buffet Crampon.
  • 11:00-12:30: Preparing for your next audition with guest Richie Hawley
  • 12:30-1:10: Lunch/School Tour/Vendors
  • 1:15 – 2:00pm: Recital with McGill Faculty and Guest Artists (Program TBD)
  • 2:00-3:30pm: Everything Mozart! A look at the staple of our repertoire, Mozart Clarinet Concerto k. 622 with guest Richie Hawley
  • 3:30-4:00pm: Are your reeds bad? So are mine. – Reed Discussion with McGill Clarinet Faculty
  • 4:00-4:30pm: All things Clarinet Q & A – Roundtable discussion with McGill Clarinet Faculty and Guest Artist


Sponsored by:

Clarinet Day will include exhibits by our sponsors.

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Contact Information

Todd Cope
montrealclarinetday [at] gmail.com