Clarinetist Wants You To Live-Tweet His Recital

Clarinetist David Thomas is encouraging audience participation on Facebook and Twitter during his recital this evening of music by Paul Jeanjean.(Photo: Courtesy Photo)
Clarinetist David Thomas is encouraging audience participation on Facebook and Twitter during his recital this evening of music by Paul Jeanjean.(Photo: Courtesy Photo)

Many classical concerts begin with a stern admonishment to silence your cellphones and previous attempts to work technology like Twitter into classical performances have met with mixed results (to say the least), but for clarinetist David Thomas, audience participation is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.

You might recognize David Thomas as the principal clarinetist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, but he’s also an active blogger and tweeter with a lot of ideas to help make classical music more accessible to new audiences.

Thomas is giving a recital this evening at 7:30 p.m. at Highlands Presbyterian Church (6909 Smoky Row Road) with pianist Suzanne Newcomb that will highlight the works of little-known French composer Paul Jeanjean (1874-1928).

During the recital, Thomas is encouraging people to participate by live-tweeting the concert (@DTclarinet) and posting comments to his facebook page.

Thomas is also in the process of recording Jeanjean’s works to, he says, put the composer “more clearly on the musical map as both rewarding and challenging for the performer, and satisfying for the audience.”

Along with two of Jeanjean’s works for clarinet and piano, featured on the recital will be newly commissioned piano accompaniments for Jeanjean’s 18 Etudes de Perfectionnement, a collection that Thomas describes as “the clarinet equivalent of Liszt or Chopin piano etudes”. These accompaniments, written by young Philadelphia-based composer Joseph Hallmann, bring a “fresh, 21st century spirit” to these works, Thomas says.

The program concludes with a world premiere of a fantasy on opera tunes by Puccini, Strauss, Saint-Saens, Gounod and Bizet written for Thomas by Ohio native composer David Salvage.

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