Texas Chamber Symphony

Musician Spotlight

Michael Drapkin

Clarinet, Composer

"Follow your Passion"


Where it began...

When I was a sophomore in high school, I attended a performance of the amazing clarinet solo Resphigi’s The Pines of Rome (for orchestra) and I said to myself, “I want to do that someday.”  I was one of three finalists for Principal Clarinet with the Oklahoma Symphony, and that solo was on the audition list and I played it perfectly.  I didn’t get picked for the job, but I didn’t care, because I knew that I arrived.

Influencers...

Richard Strauss, my Eastman clarinet teacher Stanley Hasty, and my wife Suzy

Favorite Performance...

Richard Strauss’ tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) which I performed at the Aspen Music Festival, although I wouldn’t call it a “song.”  Strauss totally rocks! I

performed with my chamber music group back in New York in Carnegie Hall.  It is just an awesome location with phenomenal acoustics.

If you could write one song...

Something that really moves people, like Blackbird (Beatles) or Maria (Bernstein)