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Waterbury Symphony Announces Thomas C Clark, Young Artist Competition - Opportunity for Talented Young Clarinetists.

Founded in 2019, the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition is a unique opportunity for serious young instrumentalists aged 18 to 26 years old, from continental United States, to compete for a cash award with coveted solo performance with the full Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in Northwest Connecticut. Endowed by WSO’s esteemed Vice Chair at the time, Mr. Thomas C. Clark, each year WSO’s Music Director, Maestro Leif Bjaland and Mr. Clark carefully select one instrument for the focus of the competition.  In 2024, the competition will be centered on the CLARINET, and the chosen applicants will be asked to  perform excerpts from the Mozart Clarinet Concerto on the A clarinet

WSO's Executive Director, Doug Donato shares about the importance of this competition,

"I am particularly thrilled to extend a special invitation to talented clarinet students, aged 18-26, to participate in the prestigious WSO’s 2024 Thomas C. Clark Young Artist Competition. This year, we are focusing on showcasing the skills of young clarinetists, a tribute to our Music Director, Leif Bjaland, whose primary instrument during his formative years was the clarinet.

The competition represents a trememdous opportunity for emerging artists to demonstrate their prowess and gain a significant performance opportunity. The selected winner will have the unique chance to perform The Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Symphony in May and receive a $2000 prize.

Calling talented young clarinetists! Application deadline is Friday, February 23rd, Competition Date is March 9th

Those interested in applying, can download the WSO YAC Clarinet Competition Flyer and the Invitation to Apply, along with the Application Form. The deadline for applications is February 23rd, 2024, and the competition is scheduled for March 9th, 2024, in Waterbury, Connecticut.

About WSO's Thomas C. Clark Young Artist Initiative

Each year, the Waterbury Symphony hosts an event for emerging instrumentalists as part of its new Young Artist Chamber Series and the Young Artist Concerto Competition - two treasured parts of the Thomas C. Clark Young Artist Initiative.   


Mr. Clark, current Board Vice Chair, endowed these programs in 2019. With many years of experience serving on the boards of orchestras and performing arts organizations, Mr. Clark knows well the significance of this type of opportunity for young musicians for its performance, monetary, and credential values.   “Having been involved for a long time with emerging musicians, I know how important it is for them to demonstrate their prowess in a performance with a symphony orchestra. The prize fund is a named endowment with real and enduring value for the winners and the Symphony. I’m happy that the Prize will advance these young artists throughout their musical careers,” Mr. Clark explains.  

Prior year competition winners are cellist Yun Han in 2019, violinist Yoon Be Kim in 2020, and following the COVID lockdown, pianist Homan Cheng in 2023.  Each year, the Clark Initiative focuses on a different orchestral instrument and a specific standard repertoire concerto.    

About Waterbury Symphony Orchestra: Creating music since 1938, the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra’s core belief is that music, music education and shared cultural experiences are essential for humanity.

Three primary strands of the WSO include its MasterWorks Classical Concerts including its annual Symphony & Cinema Concert, its prodigious satellite performances including its Music in Great Spaces series of innovative concerts and smaller ensembles, and finally their celebrated educational programs for libraries, schools, and underserved communities. Led by Leif Bjaland for the past twenty-eight seasons, WSO draws over one hundred talented professional musicians from across New England. As orchestra in residence of the Fine Arts Center, Naugatuck Valley Community College, the Waterbury Symphony wishes to acknowledge the partnership of NVCC and the enduring legacy of the generosity and vision of Ruth Ann Leever. For more information by telephone, call 203-574-4283 For tickets online, visit: For ticketing by phone: 203-346-2000* *Via box office partner, Palace Theater Ticketing Office


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