Candida Mccants

Written by Candida Mccants

Modified & Updated: 28 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Richard Stoltzman is a renowned American clarinetist who has made a significant impact on the world of classical music. With a career spanning over five decades, Stoltzman’s mesmerizing performances and virtuosic skills have captivated audiences worldwide. While many may be familiar with his exceptional talent, there are several surprising facts about Richard Stoltzman that may come as a delightful revelation. From his unusual musical collaborations to his unique approach to music education, Stoltzman’s life and career are filled with fascinating anecdotes that showcase his passion and dedication to his craft. In this article, we will delve into 25 surprising facts about Richard Stoltzman that will give you a deeper appreciation for this musical genius.

Key Takeaways:

  • Richard Stoltzman is a world-renowned clarinetist known for his captivating performances in classical, jazz, and contemporary music, collaborating with legends and inspiring the next generation of musicians.
  • With over 50 albums, multiple Grammy Awards, and prestigious honors, Richard Stoltzman’s talent and dedication have brought the clarinet to new heights, leaving an indelible mark on the world of music.
Table of Contents

Richard Stoltzman is a world-renowned clarinetist.

Richard Stoltzman’s remarkable talent and virtuosity on the clarinet have established him as one of the greatest musicians of our time.

He was born on July 12, 1942, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Richard Stoltzman’s musical journey began in the heartland of America, shaping his unique approach to music.

Stoltzman has performed with some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world.

Throughout his illustrious career, Richard Stoltzman has collaborated with renowned orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestra.

He was the first clarinetist to receive the Avery Fisher Prize.

In 1986, Richard Stoltzman made history by becoming the first clarinetist to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, recognizing his exceptional artistry and contributions to classical music.

Stoltzman is known for his versatility and exploration of diverse musical genres.

Richard Stoltzman’s captivating performances transcend boundaries, as he effortlessly transitions between classical, jazz, and contemporary music with extraordinary skill and artistry.

He has collaborated with jazz legends like Chick Corea and George Shearing.

Richard Stoltzman’s musical collaborations have extended beyond the classical realm, as he has joined forces with iconic jazz musicians, leaving audiences amazed by their collective brilliance.

Stoltzman has recorded over 50 albums throughout his career.

Richard Stoltzman’s extensive discography is a testament to his ceaseless dedication and passion for recording music, allowing fans to enjoy his remarkable performances for years to come.

He has won multiple Grammy Awards.

Richard Stoltzman’s exceptional talent has earned him numerous accolades, including multiple Grammy Awards, reaffirming his status as a true musical prodigy.

Stoltzman is a sought-after educator and mentor.

Beyond his outstanding performances, Richard Stoltzman is known for his commitment to teaching and nurturing the next generation of musicians, inspiring countless aspiring clarinetists around the world.

He has premiered numerous contemporary works for the clarinet.

Richard Stoltzman’s dedication to expanding the clarinet repertoire has led to the premieres of countless contemporary compositions, showcasing the instrument’s versatility and expressive potential.

Stoltzman has performed on movie soundtracks.

Richard Stoltzman’s extraordinary talent has graced the soundtracks of several films, adding a touch of musical brilliance to the cinematic experience.

He has received honorary doctorates from various institutions.

Richard Stoltzman’s contributions to the world of music have been recognized through the bestowal of numerous honorary doctorates from esteemed institutions.

Stoltzman is known for his captivating stage presence.

Richard Stoltzman’s magnetic charisma and engaging stage presence have captivated audiences worldwide, turning his performances into unforgettable experiences.

He has performed at renowned music festivals.

Richard Stoltzman’s talent has taken him to prestigious music festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.

Stoltzman has collaborated with esteemed conductors.

Richard Stoltzman’s musical partnerships with legendary conductors like Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, and Zubin Mehta have resulted in awe-inspiring performances cherished by music enthusiasts worldwide.

He has been an advocate for contemporary composers.

Richard Stoltzman’s commitment to promoting contemporary music has paved the way for collaborations with innovative composers, showcasing their works to a broader audience.

Stoltzman has performed at prestigious venues around the world.

Richard Stoltzman’s artistry has graced the stages of iconic venues such as Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and Sydney Opera House, leaving audiences in awe of his talent.

He has received the National Medal of the Arts.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements and contributions to the arts, Richard Stoltzman was awarded the prestigious National Medal of the Arts by the President of the United States.

Stoltzman has brought the clarinet to new heights of popularity.

Richard Stoltzman’s captivating performances have attracted a wide and diverse audience to the world of classical music, introducing countless listeners to the beauty of the clarinet.

He has collaborated with renowned chamber music ensembles.

Richard Stoltzman’s collaborations with esteemed chamber music ensembles, such as the Tokyo String Quartet and the Emerson String Quartet, have created extraordinary musical experiences.

Stoltzman is known for his expressive and soulful interpretations.

Richard Stoltzman’s deeply emotional and soul-stirring interpretations have touched the hearts of audiences, leaving a lasting impression on all who have had the privilege of hearing him perform.

He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Clarinet Association.

In recognition of his immense contributions to the world of clarinet music, Richard Stoltzman was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Clarinet Association.

Stoltzman has embarked on international concert tours.

Richard Stoltzman’s passion for sharing his artistry has led him to tour extensively around the world, bringing his captivating performances to audiences in different countries and cultures.

He has collaborated with world-renowned pianists.

Richard Stoltzman’s musical collaborations with celebrated pianists like Emanuel Ax and Keith Jarrett have resulted in mesmerizing performances that have left a lasting impact on listeners.

Stoltzman continues to inspire and influence the next generation of musicians.

Richard Stoltzman’s musical legacy extends beyond his own performances, as he continues to inspire and mentor young musicians, ensuring the future of classical music remains bright.

Richard Stoltzman’s remarkable talent, versatility, and indelible contributions to the world of music make him an extraordinary and revered figure in the realm of classical and contemporary clarinet performances. With his captivating stage presence and unmistakable sound, he has left an indelible mark on the world of music. His collaborations with renowned artists, his extensive discography, and his unwavering dedication to expanding the clarinet repertoire have solidified his status as an iconic figure. Richard Stoltzman’s influence and impact continue to shape the landscape of music, inspiring generations of musicians to push the boundaries of their craft. Whether performing on prestigious stages or advocating for contemporary composers, he remains a true visionary and a master of his craft.


Richard Stoltzman is undoubtedly a remarkable figure in the world of music. His unparalleled talent, versatile skills, and unyielding dedication have made him one of the most trusted and respected clarinetists of our time. With a career spanning over several decades, Stoltzman has mesmerized audiences with his exquisite performances and groundbreaking collaborations. From his groundbreaking Grammy-winning recordings to his soul-stirring interpretations of classical and jazz music, Stoltzman continues to push boundaries and inspire aspiring musicians worldwide. His contributions to the world of music cannot be overstated, and his legacy is sure to endure for generations to come.


1. How did Richard Stoltzman develop his passion for the clarinet?

Richard Stoltzman discovered his love for the clarinet during his teenage years. He was influenced by the legendary jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman and decided to pursue a career in music.

2. Has Richard Stoltzman collaborated with other famous musicians?

Yes, Richard Stoltzman has collaborated with numerous renowned musicians across various genres. Some notable collaborations include performing with pianist Emanuel Ax, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and filmmaker Spike Lee.

3. Has Richard Stoltzman won any awards for his performances?

Absolutely! Richard Stoltzman has received numerous accolades throughout his career. He has won multiple Grammy Awards for his exceptional recordings and performances.

4. Is Richard Stoltzman only known for his classical music performances?

No, Richard Stoltzman has showcased his versatility by exploring various genres of music. He has ventured into jazz, pop, and even collaborated with world-renowned jazz artists such as Chick Corea and Dave Brubeck.

5. What makes Richard Stoltzman’s playing style unique?

Richard Stoltzman’s playing style is known for its warmth, expressiveness, and impeccable technique. He has a unique ability to evoke deep emotions through his music, captivating audiences worldwide.

Richard Stoltzman's remarkable journey as a clarinetist has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the world of music. His passion for exploring various genres and collaborating with renowned artists across different fields is truly inspiring. If you're curious to learn more about the fascinating realm of music, why not explore the vibrant atmosphere of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, discover how organizations like Save The Music Foundation are making a difference through music education, or dive into the intriguing world of clarinets and their unique characteristics?

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