BIOGRAPHY

Alexander Muhr is an Austrian clarinetist born in Graz in 1989. He has been principal clarinetist of the Cottbus State Theatre Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014. During his studies with Gerald Pachinger at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, he performed as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO) on several tours in the leading concert halls of Europe. Besides, he was principal clarinetist of the orchestra of the Tyrolean Festival Erl for over three years. In the 2012/2013 season, he filled the substitute position in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. In 2013, he acted as deputy principal clarinetist at the Leipzig Opera in the Orchestra of the Musikalische Komödie.

Guest engagements as first clarinetist have taken him to Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, as well as to Bolzano's Haydn Orchestra. Moreover, he played as a substitute in the orchestra of Wiener Staatsoper, the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Vienna Symphony.

Study trips to Los Angeles and New York City took him to Michele Zukovsky, David Howard, Yehuda Gilad, Anthony McGill, Ricardo Morales, Stanley Drucker, and Charles Neidich. In 2021, Alexander Muhr completed his Master studies with François Benda at the Berlin University of the Arts.

As clarinetist and basset hornist of clarinet ensemble GRAZioso, Alexander Muhr has performed at the Styrian Chamber Music Festival and on Austrian radio ORF. Since 2013, he has been playing historical clarinets and basset horns with the Dresden Festival Orchestra and with Aris & Aulis in Berlin.

In 2005, Alexander Muhr made his solo debut with Artie Shaw's Concerto for Clarinet. Since then, he has appeared several times as soloist in Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. In 2018, he performed Carl Maria von Weber's Second Clarinet Concerto with the Cottbus State Theatre Philharmonic Orchestra and premiered "Pya-ryu for Solo Clarinet and Orchestra," written in collaboration with composer Shiori Usui.

Alexander Muhr is a "Gradus ad Parnassum" laureate, was a scholarship holder at the Orchestra Academy Ossiach led by the Vienna Philharmonic and received the Vienna Symphony's Anton Bruckner Förderungspreis. Moreover, he was awarded the Dr. Karl Böhm Scholarship in Graz and the Gottfried von Einem Prize in Vienna.

REVIEWS

Schubert: Symphony No. 7 in B minor "Unfinished"

... After an opening that could not be more tender - a clarinet solo that makes you go weak at the knees - ...

Lausitzer Rundschau, Irene Constantin, 09.09.2019

Puccini: Tosca at the Cottbus State Theater

... And a fourth, invisible soloist deserves highest praise: the solo clarinetist in the orchestra. The great clarinet solo at the beginning of the 3rd act is rarely heard so beautiful, so softly floating ...

Lausitzer Rundschau, Irene Constantin, 02.06.2015

Puccini: Tosca at the Tyrolean Festival Erl

... Musically one of the most beautiful moments. Magical, how Kuhn makes the lush orchestra shine, the clarinet soulful ...

Tiroler Tageszeitung, Ursula Strohal, 23.07.2012

Weber: 2nd Clarinet Concerto/Usui: Pya-ryu, Cottbus State Theater

... What leads to the fact that through Weber the solo clarinet can romp abundantly in artistic realms. And so, it enters the sonic action with a spectacular leap from the highest height to the lowest depth. Alexander Muhr, principal clarinetist of the Philharmonic Orchestra, effortlessly masters such capers, as well as rapid runs and chord breaks. His clear, approachable tone is largely sharpened rather than pleasing, supported in this by his orchestral colleagues. His and the orchestra's brightly polished sounds rid the notes of any patina. Top notes shoot into the room like radiant arrowheads. Romantic feeling is kept within limits. In lyrical contrast to this is the "Romanze" movement, played cantabile like an opera scene from the Freischütz realm. Here, Muhr's tone really blossoms, and finally, with dance-like bravura in the spirited final Polonaise, he once again demonstrates his excellent technical wind skills. He can also demonstrate this in the novelty Pya-ryu by the Japanese-born composer Shiori Usui, who lives in Scotland ... In close collaboration with Alexander Muhr, a seven-part collaged clarinet concerto of ample five-minute duration has been created, which walks the line between noise and pitch ... Composer and soloist are dismissed with applause ...

Das Orchester. Magazine for Musicians and Management, Peter Buske, 07/08 2018

Weber: 2nd Clarinet Concerto, Cottbus State Theater

... Dazzlingly played in brilliantly round, singing intonation and buttery smooth transitions between the registers ... here the orchestra was suddenly overcome by the spirit. It accompanied the soloist almost congenially, responded to every musical thought; the small dialogue became a musical star hour. Everyone took this momentum and esprit with them into the great polonaise, the final movement. It demands everything from the soloist, and Alexander Muhr gave everything, endless breath, musical will to form and at the good end breathtaking virtuosity! ...

Lausitzer Rundschau, Irene Constantin, 06.05.2018

Khachaturian and Prokofiev at the Styriarte Graz 2017

.... Excellent young soloists of the chamber orchestra Modus 21 played ... melancholy tinged the Trio for clarinet, violin and piano by Khachaturian ... In the second part Prokofiev's "Overture on Hebrew Themes" brought echoes of Klezmer music with a clarinet (Alexander Muhr) that characteristically alternated between flattery and sharpness ...

Kleine Zeitung, Eva Schulz, 14.07.2017

Respighi: Pini di Roma at the Cottbus State Theater

...Obviously Respighi loved the clarinet. Principal clarinettist Alexander Muhr was able to shine extensively in the "dawn and dusk"...

Lausitzer Rundschau, Irene Constantin, 09.04.2019

Grieg: Lyric Suite

... The violins start, sky-high, a little bit pointed in sound, but soon the shepherd begins to blow his Norwegian reed flute. The excellent Cottbus 1st clarinetist Alexander Muhr gives him the appropriate symphonic form ...

Lausitzer Rundschau, Irene Constantin, 15.01.2018

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

... A strength of the orchestra this evening is also the variable timbres demonstrated: a thoughtful blend of individual instrumental groups. The woodwind solos are particular highlights in this symphony, such as the lyrical and seemingly endless clarinet solo in the third movement. ...

Lausitzer Rundschau, Rüdiger Hofmann, 22.11.2016

REPERTOIRE

Arnold, Malcolm

Fantasy for Clarinet op. 87 (1965)

Bassi, Luigi

Fantasia da Concerto sopra motivi dell'Opera "Rigoletto" di Giuseppe Verdi (1865)

Beethoven, Ludwig van

Trio in B flat major "Gassenhauer-Trio" for clarinet, violoncello and piano op. 11 (1797)

Septet in E-flat major op. 20 (1800)

Ben-Haim, Paul

Quintet for clarinet and string quartet (1941)

Berg, Alban

Four pieces for clarinet and piano op. 5 (1913)

Berio, Luciano

Lied (1983)

Bernstein, Leonard

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1942)

Bozza, Eugène

Bucolique pour Clarinette et Piano (1949)

Brahms, Johannes

Clarinet Trio in A minor op. 114 (1891)

Clarinet Quintet in B minor op. 115 (1891)

Sonata No. 1 for piano and clarinet in F minor op.120/1 (1894)

Sonata No. 2 for piano and clarinet in E-flat major op.120/2 (1894)

Carter, Elliott

Gra for solo clarinet (1993)

Cibulka, Franz

s'Zwitscherl for clarinet and accordion (1990)

Copland, Aaron

Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp (1948)

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1943)

Crusell, Bernhard Henrik

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra No. 1 in E flat major, op. 1 (1811)

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra No. 2 in F minor op. 5 (1817)

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra No. 3 in B flat major op. 11 (1829)

Damase, Jean-Michel

Sonate pour Clarinette et Harpe (1984)

Danzi, Franz

Sinfonia concertante for flute, clarinet and orchestra in B flat major op. 41 (1814)

Debussy, Claude

Première Rhapsodie (1910)

Petite Pièce pour Clarinette et Piano (1910)

Syrinx (1912)

Dimler, Anton

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in B flat major (1795)

Driessler, Johannes

Fünf Stücke für Klarinette und Klavier op. 24/3a (1952)

Françaix, Jean

Quatuor à vents (1933)

Petit quatuor pour clarinettes et cor de basset (1935/1992)

Divertissement pour trio d'anches (1947)

Concerto pour clarinette et orchestre (1967)

Octour (1972)

Frühling, Carl

Trio for clarinet, violoncello and piano in A minor op.40 (1925)

Gade, Niels

Fantasy Pieces op. 43 for clarinet and piano (1864)

Gershwin, George

Preludes for Piano (arranged by James Cohn) (1927)

Hindemith, Paul

Concerto for A clarinet and orchestra (1947)

Sonata in B flat major for clarinet and piano (1939)

Horovitz, Joseph

Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano (1981)

Hummel, Johann Nepomuk

Quartet in E flat major for clarinet, violin, viola and violoncello (1808)

Iwai, Naohiro (arr.)

Benny Goodman Memories (1998)

Jolivet, André

Sonatine pour flûte et clarinette (1961)

Körber, Till Alexander

24 Augenblicke for choir, clarinet and speaker (2018)

premiered by Alexander Muhr, Franz Strasser and the A Cappella Choir Wels under the direction of Julia Sitter on January 27, 2019 in Wels, Austria

Kovács, Béla

Hommages à J.S. Bach, C. Debussy & R. Strauss (2003)

Krein, Alexander

Esquisses Hebraïques No. 1 for clarinet and string quartet (1909)

Krommer, Franz

Concerto for two clarinets and orchestra in E flat major op. 91 (1815)

Lefèvre, Jean Xavier

Five Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano (1802)

Lutosławski, Witold

Dance Préludes for clarinet and piano (1954)

Martinů, Bohuslav

Sonatina pour Clarinette et Piano H. 356 (1956)

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix

Sonata for clarinet and piano in E-flat major (1824)

Concert Piece for Clarinet, Basset Horn and Piano No. 1 in F minor op. 113 (1833)

Concert piece for Clarinet, Basset Horn and Piano No. 2 in D minor op. 114 (1833)

Messager, André

Solo de Concours (1899)

Molter, Johann Melchior

Concerto for D clarinet, strings and basso continuo No. 1 in A major

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Five divertimenti for three basset horns KV 439B (1783-1788)

Kegel-Duette for two basset horns KV 487 (1786)

Trio for piano, clarinet and viola E-flat major "Kegelstatt-Trio" KV 498 (1786)

Clarinet quintet in A major KV 581 (1789)

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra in A major KV 622 (1791)

Osborne, Willson

Rhapsody for Clarinet (1958)

Poulenc, Francis

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano op. 184 (1962)

Sonata for two Clarinets op. 7 (1963)

Prokofiev, Sergej

Overture on Hebrew Themes op. 34 (1919)

Ravel, Maurice

Introduction et Allegro pour harpe, flûte, clarinette et quatuor à cordes (1905)

Ridout, Alan

Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano (1968)

Rietz, Julius

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra op. 29 (1857)

D'Rivera, Paquito

Danzón for Clarinet, Cello and Piano (1998)

Rossini, Gioachino

Introduction, Theme and Variations (1809)

Rózsa, Miklós

Sonata Per Clarinetto Solo op. 41 (1987)

Saint-Saëns, Camille

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano op. 167 (1921)

Schlee, Thomas Daniel

Moments amicaux for basset horn and piano (organ) op. 50a (2000)

premiered by Alexander Muhr and Akemi Fukuzaki in Graz on February 4, 2014

Schubert, Franz

Octet in F major D. 803 (1824)

Der Hirt auf dem Felsen D. 965 for soprano, clarinet and piano (1828)

Schumann, Robert

5 canonic studies from op. 56 (1845)
transcribed by Jost Michaels for clarinet, basset horn and piano

Fantasiestücke op. 73 for clarinet and piano (1849)

Seiber, Mátyás

Divertimento for B-flat clarinet and string quartet (1928)

Shaw, Artie

Concerto for Clarinet (1940)

Shulman, Alan

Mood in Question for Clarinet, String Quartet and Harp (1939)

Rendezvous for Clarinet and Strings (1946)

Spohr, Louis

Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in C minor op. 26 (1808)

Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major op. 57 (1810)

Clarinet Concerto No. 3 in F minor WoO 19 (1821)

Clarinet Concerto No. 4 in E minor WoO 20 (1828)

Six German Songs op. 103 for voice, clarinet and piano (1837)

Stamitz, Carl

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra No. 3 in B flat major (1778)

Strawinsky, Igor

Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet (1919)

Tiensuu, Jukka

Plus I for clarinet and accordion (1992)

Usui, Shiori

Pya-ryu for Solo Clarinet and Orchestra (2018)

premiered by Alexander Muhr and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Cottbus State Theater conducted by Alexander Merzyn on May 6, 2018 in Cottbus, Germany

von Weber, Carl Maria

Concertino for clarinet and orchestra in E flat major op. 26 (1811)

von Weber, Carl Maria

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra No. 1 in F minor op. 73 (1811)

Concerto for clarinet and orchestra No. 2 in E-flat major op. 74 (1811)

Widmann, Jörg

Fantasie (1993)

Wilder, Alec

Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1963)

von Zemlinsky, Alexander

Trio in D minor op. 3 for piano, clarinet and violoncello (1896)