Kenneth Grant

Kenneth Grant portrait, close up shot.

Kenneth Grant is an encyclopedia of clarinet history. As a performer and professor he has been a celebrated leader of our community for three decades. In this interview, he pours over incredible insights and stories of the clarinet founding fathers. Marcellus, Hasty, Wright, McLean, Bonade, Cohen, and many more. These stories are so important to know and understand in our clarinet heritage, and we are so lucky that Kenny was able to articulate them for Inside the Notes!

Kenneth Grant, clarinet

Kenneth Grant is principal clarinet of the Rochester Philharmonic and Professor of clarinet at the Eastman School of Music.  This episode includes countless stories about Marcellus, Hasty, Wright, and many other performers and teachers who shaped today’s clarinet community.  

Kenneth Grant holding a clarinet by his face, wearing a vest

Kenneth Grant is principal clarinet of the Rochester Philharmonic and on the faculty at the Eastman School of Music.  He is an active soloist and chamber musician as well.  His past teachers include Donald Mattea, Stanley Hasty, James Pyne, and additional study with Franklin Cohen, and Theodore Johnson and he holds the BM and Performer’s Certificate form the Eastman School. Mr. Grant has served as principal clarinet of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, [OH] for fourteen years presently principal with the Rochester Philharmonic since 1987. 

Kenneth Grant playfully holding 4 clarinets and sitting on the ground.

As a soloist he’s performed several premieres including the Clarinet Concerto by Sydney Hodkinson (world premiere), and Benjamin Britten’s Concerto Movement for Clarinet and Orchestra (United States premiere), both with the Rochester Philharmonic. Chamber music premieres include Verne Reynolds’ Sonata for Clarinet and Piano and Fantasy Etudes for Clarinet, Percussion, and Piano. He has been a soloist in the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, ICA ClarinetFest, the International Festival at Round Top, and Aria International Summer Academy at Mt. Holyoke College and the Marrowstone Festival at Western Washington University north of Seattle.  He also served as a Faculty member at Capital University, Ohio Wesleyan University and since 1988, the Eastman School of Music.

In this interview, Kenny mentions, The Cleveland Orchestra Story: Second to None, which can be purchased here.

This is a recording of Stanley Hasty performing the Sinfonia Concertante in Pittsburg, 1953


This is the famous Schubert recording of Benita Valente, Harold Wright and Rudolph Serkin


This is the recording that Mr Grant discussed with Robert Marcellus with “triple strings” conducted by Szell, a performance that he was very proud of.

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