PROGRAM NOTES: ClarinetMike to Premiere Three New Clarinet Works at Orfeo Music Festival 2019 in Vipiteno, Italy!

ClarinetMike in the Italian Alps near the Scuola di musica (Music School) in Vipiteno, Italy.

Hey! Tomorrow I leave for Europe! I’m again returning as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival 2019 in the beautiful Italian Alps of Vipiteno, Italy (Sterzing) on July 5-19, 2019. I’ll be premiering three new clarinet works at Orfeo 2019: two World Premieres and a European Premiere. Below is information on the premieres, including program notes and performing venue information (with pictures!).


Filtrò poi una luce (2010) for clarinet & piano by Andrea Ferrante (European Premiere)
Semplicemente (2019) for clarinet & piano by Andrea Ferrante (World Premiere)
Michael Dean, clarinet
Dena Kay Jones, piano
Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 20:30 (8:30 pm)
Chiesa di Santa Margherita, Vipiteno, Italy

Andrea Ferrante

Andrea Ferrante‘s music is performed throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas and published by Videoradio and RAI Trade Labels, Edizioni Carrara (BG) and Edizioni Simeoli (NA). From 1996 to 1999 he served as the Editorial Director of the Neopoiesis Editrice, winning the important “Diego Fabbri” prize sponsored by RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Sicilian Etnomusical Research Association “Alberto Favara” and of the “Neopoiesis” Contemporary Music Association in Palermo. In 2000, Andrea Ferrante won the MIUR competition sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research (MUIR) and began teaching Elements of Composition in Music Education. He currently teaches at the Conservatorio di Musica di Stato “Arcangelo Corelli” in Messina, and serves as the Coordinator of the Education program at the Conservatorio di Musica “Antonio Scontrino” in Trapani.

Filtrò poi una luce (“filtering of the light”). Commenting on the meaning of the title, Ferrante said, “As when [in] the morning a ray of sun enters from the window of your room… softly.” Filtrò poi una luce was originally composed for viola and piano. Ferrante arranged Filtrò for Michael Dean, who premiered the clarinet and piano version in February of 2011 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA. On his 2011 tour of Arizona, California and Nevada, Michael Dean premiered a new version of Filtrò for clarinet and CD – this was also arranged for Dean by the composer. Michael Dean’s 2013 CD release, Mysteries, features the clarinet and CD version of Filtrò poi una luce – available on Apple Music, iTunes,, and similar vendors.

Semplicemente. Notes from the composer (in original Italian): Semplicemente è solo un percorso, anzi, il percorso… non c’è uno “start”, ogni cosa è stata già predisposta, strutturata. E’ il piacere del viaggio in sé che non tiene conto nemmeno di uno “stop”, di una destinazione. Il gesto sonoro è sempre in cerca di un tactus che di tanto in tanto viene offerto da uno o dall’altro viaggiatore. Il passo si arricchisce così di attese e di aspettative, di rimandi e di sottintesi che solo il tempo “a la valse” risolve ma in toni di delicata e tenue nostalgia. Nostalgia di un viaggio mai iniziato, nostalgia di un viaggio mai concluso.

Notes from the composer (English translation): Semplicemente is simply a path, indeed, the path … there is no “start,” everything has already been prepared and structured. It is the pleasure of the journey itself that does not even take into account a “stop,” a destination. The sound gesture is always in search of a tactus which is occasionally offered by one or the other traveler. The passage is enriched with expectations, references, and subtleties that only the “a la valse” section solves, but in tones of delicate and soft nostalgia. Nostalgia for a journey that has never begun, nostalgia for a journey that has never ended.

Blues in C (2019) for clarinet and piano by Faina Lushtak (World Premiere)
Michael Dean, clarinet
Faina Lushtak, piano
Saturday, July 13, 2019, 20:30 (8:30 pm)
Chiesa di Spirito Santo, Vipiteno, Italy

Faina Lushtak

Steinway Artist Faina Lushtak was born and raised in the Soviet Union. She began her piano and composition studies at the age of six, taught by her mother, Evgenia Lushtak. She went on to study at the Stoliarsky School for Musically Gifted Children in Odessa under the tutelage of Eleonora Levinson, followed by the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she was taught by Genrietta Mirvis, Yakov Zak and Tikhon Khrennikov, and earned degrees in piano performance and composition. She was a faculty member at the Moscow Conservatory, performing throughout the Soviet Union until immigrating to the United States in 1978. Ms. Lushtak’s performances have inspired audiences in Russia, Western Europe, Canada and the United States. Her performances have earned widespread critical acclaim. At her debut at Alice Tully Hall, The New York Times wrote, “The qualities she prizes most are clarity of line and transparency of texture. Incisive clarity remained her hallmark.” Ms. Lushtak has made frequent guest artist appearances and conducted master classes at university campuses. She has also been a guest artist and judge at international competitions and festivals. Her compositions have been published by Willis Music and Boosey & Hawkes. Ms. Lushtak is the Downman Professor of Music at Tulane University, where she heads the piano division.

Blues in C was originally written for the saxophone. It was commissioned by one of Faina Lushtak’s piano students, Olivia Gilbert, who was also a saxophonist. This version was rewritten for Michael Dean on clarinet after a reading session on it at Orfeo 2018. This reworked version of Blues in C features a new middle section. The composer says that Blues in C is about “sadness, loneliness, and hope.”


Chiesa di Santo Spirito, Vipiteno, Italy

The Chiesa di Santo Spirito (Church of the Holy Spirit) was built in 1399. It is the oldest gothic church in Vipiteno Italy (Sterzing). In the nave are late Gothic-style frescos (1402) of the South Tyrolien painter Hans von Bruneck.

Orfeo Music Festival Concert at Chiesa di Santo Spirito, Vipiteno, Italy



The Chiesa di Santa Margherita in Vipiteno, Italy – an early Tyrolian Baroque church built in the 1670’s with an old bell tower first mentioned in 1337.

ClarinetMike & Faina Lushtak performing in Chiesa di Santa Margherita in Vipiteno, Italy at Orfeo Music Festival 2017.

About ClarinetMike

American Clarinetist Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as, “world-class clarinetist and pedagogue,” “consummate performer,” “inspirational,” “outstanding teacher,” “super,” “brilliant performer,” and “one of the best clinicians I have ever seen.” Dr. Dean’s career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Royal Northern College of Music, and Eastman School of Music, with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Canada, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas. He recently returned for a fourth summer to the beautiful Italian Alps of Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival. He is featured on 6 commercial CD’s including his soon-to-be-released new CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He is also prominent on New Media, such as YouTube. He was clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for 11 years and he’s also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He has given more than 500 master classes, clinics and performances at universities, conservatories, conferences, festivals, high schools, junior high schools, and a diverse array of venues. As “ClarinetMike,” he writes for his noted and widely-read ClarinetMike Blog – viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents, His blog is the #1 clarinet blog on the Internet according to Google Search and a recent ranking on Feedspot. His articles also appear in professional journals such as the Southwestern Musician, The Bandmasters’ Review, WINDPLAYER, and NACWPI Journal. He is a past president and former officer on the National Board of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). After a successful 20 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is currently an active clarinet and woodwind performer, teacher, clinician, blogger, and consultant based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Bob Ackerman, and Jess Youngblood. He is a BG France Performing Artist and his professional website is Mike and his family live in Hurst, Texas. His family’s new Golden Retriever, Nimbus, is a relative of Andy.
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1 Response to PROGRAM NOTES: ClarinetMike to Premiere Three New Clarinet Works at Orfeo Music Festival 2019 in Vipiteno, Italy!

  1. Ruth Ellen Lenher says:

    Mike, this is wonderful to hear and see! : )
    What is the definition of etno, which is in front of the word musical in Etnomusical Research Association? I am going to try to get at least one of your CDs when I can afford it. Then I will know much better the melodies you prefer to hear, and compare to what I have sent you, but will send you just what you would enjoy playing! 🙂 I am thrilled for you and all who participate in this festival! Sincerely, and with warm regards, Ruth Ellen Lenher

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