Anthony Brackett
A little bit about me

As a youngster in elementary school I received group lessons from a New England Conservatory student, squeaking and squawking once a week under the stairs in the cafeteria. In the summer, during junior high school, Atillio Poto used to come to my town to give private lessons. I recall he charged three dollars a lesson! I learned a lot from Mr. Poto about air speed and finger pressure. I was without a private teacher until my senior year of high school, but still managed to get into music festivals. My senior year I studied with Wendy Brannen Rose. She had played a bit in the Chicago Symphony and moved East in the late 1970s. She was a fantastic clarinetist and was the first teacher who taught me how to properly tongue and to better understand a good solid clarinet embouchure. I still have my notebook from her lessons.

I received my Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music where I studied with Henry Larsen, the man who first introduced me to clarinet choir. He required his private students to meet weekly and play in choir where we performed the standard pieces as well as arrangements by him and his students. I next studied with Charles Russo, former principal clarinet of New York City Opera Orchestra, and received an Artist's Diploma. I had incredible performance opportunities at Hartt and received an outstanding education there. The school now has a lot of emphasis on dance and musical theatre. I started my Master's degree with Mr. Russo at the Manhattan School of Music. I was absolutely miserable there. Academically it was not challenging and I just did not like living in the city. So, with a lot of practicing I won my first orchestra job that winter and moved to Louisiana to play bass clarinet with the New Orleans Symphony. I loved that job and was so fortunate to play in a section with Steve Cohen, clarinet professor at Northwestern and Paul Garner, presently of the Dallas Symphony. The orchestra was wonderful and Maxim Shostakovich was the Music Director. We played a lot of Russian music. Awesome!

After my time in New Orleans I moved back to New York and freelanced with the New York City Opera, American Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York Pops, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Martha Graham Dance Company, Dance Theater of Harlem, The Goldman Band, and the Singapore Symphony. During my early years I was also working during the day at McGraw-Hill in the recordings department on a music textbook series, where I dabbled in arranging and orchestrating.

Among my many chamber music appearances most notably are concerts with the Emerson String Quartet, Shanghai String Quartet, Borealis Wind Quintet, Dorian Quintet, Blue Door and Venti Cordi. As a young professional I was fortunate to have played in the National Repertory, Waterloo Festival, Yale's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, ME.

In addition to having taught a large private studio of clarinetists in CT where I began seriously arranging for clarinet choir, I also was on the faculty of The Juilliard School's Pre-College Division and formerly taught in the Music Advancement Program, performed for Young Audiences of New York and New Jersey and was consultant to The Morgan Library and Museum's Family Concert Series. I have adjudicated and given clinics for the Connecticut Music Educators Association, served as President, Orchestra Manager and adjudicator for the New England Music Festival Association, was Assistant Manager of NAfME's All-Eastern Honors Orchestra and was Manager of NAfME's National Honors Orchestra.

I have accompanied many legendary entertainers including Mel Torme, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Patti Lupone, Donny and Marie Osmond, Bob McGrath, the Three Irish Tenors, The Moody Blues, Maureen McGovern, Andrea Bocelli, Midori, Placido Domingo, Andre Watts, Tatiana Troyanos, and Bugs Bunny. I recorded on the Sony, Sarabande, QRecords and Telarc labels as well as jingles and industrial recordings for television, radio and films. I spent many years in the trenches of Broadway shows, where I did a lot of subbing and was lucky enough to hold a chair on Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King & I, Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Meredith Willson's The Music Man, Cole Porter's Cancan and Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

I currently live in Amherst, Massachusetts with my family and our dog Flo and complain daily about allergies and carousing college students. I have a private clarinet studio and coach chamber music at the Juilliard School in the Pre-College division.