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Thomas Piercy

Name: Thomas Piercy
Location: New York
United States 10036
Contact: Email at:

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Additional Info: Passionate.
The New York Times

Piercy brought forth a sense of mood and appealing emotion helped by his consistently warm and beautiful sound.
The Norway Times

Piercy came out swinging. People could imagine they were hearing the late, great Benny Goodman as Piercy wove to and fro.
The Richmond Times Dispatch

Piercy played with expression and character.
The New York Concert Review

Piercy has it all...extraordinary technique, a uniquely beautiful sound. He made the clarinet sing.
Le Libre Paris

A classic performance.
The Clarinet Magazine

Extraordinary performances by top players bring distinction to this recording... Piercy shows remarkable virtuosity in some deep emotional terrain.
Times Union, NY

While Ned Rorem's music is certainly complex, it still possesses a romantic leaning that, especially with the Gotham Ensemble playing, is both thought-provoking and emotive.
New Music Box

This was a most exciting evening of new music for clarinet and piano.

Mr. Piercy is masterly on his clarinet.
The New York Sun intense and illuminating musical experience, Tom Piercy met the many technical demands asked for in the work, especially providing colors ranging from warm to astringent.
New Music Connoisseur

The eight musicians include the composer at the piano and they play a score longer than many operas with as much easy energy at the end as at the beginning.
The New York Times

The Best Piazzolla in New York. On Monday afternoon, there couldn’t have been anything impressively inclusive overview of Piazzolla’s career. Piercy’s often mournful clarinet, flying over Hickman’s tasteful, understated piano and Odaka’s insistent, pulsing bass brought out every bit of melody in the program. The crowd was spellbound. If Piercy’s planned upcoming recording of Piazzolla works is anything like this, it’ll be amazing.
Lucid Culture

It didn’t matter that there was no bandoneon in the band: the trio of clarinetist/arranger Thomas Piercy, pianist Claudine Hickman and upright bassist Pablo Aslan managed to silence the sold-out room (no easy task!) with a practically telepathic, emotionally rich program of both familiar and more obscure compositions by the legendary Argentinian composer, along with meticulous yet spirited performances of two pieces by French jazz composer/pianist Claude Bolling....Piercy expertly worked the nooks and crannies of the songs’ innumerable permutations, only going full throttle when the piece demanded it. They wrapped up the program with an exquisite take of the classic Soledad, Piercy’s clarinet soaring to the heights with unaffectedly raw anguish right before the end, and closed with the vastly more optimistic, insistent Michelangelo ‘70. Piazzolla, ever the innovator, would no doubt have approved.
Lucid Culture

The performers — played with refinement and flair throughout a concert spanning diverse styles and configurations. There was also more than a hint of the serpentine in Samuel Andreyev’s haunting “Passages,” a gelatinous clarinet soliloquy.
The New York Times

An expressive performance of the virtuosic program.
The New York Times

Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with orchestral, concerto, solo recital and chamber music appearances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Described by The New York Times as passionate and pulling out all the stops, Mr. Piercy is a versatile artist presenting audiences to varied and exciting concerts of standard classical music, jazz-inspired programs, contemporary works, pieces written specifically for him and his own original arrangements, compositions and collaborations. Piercy performs and records on rare rosewood large-bore clarinets made for him by Luis Rossi of Santiago, Chile, and Buffet Prestige clarinets with Opperman mouthpieces and barrels. His sound has been described by critics as uniquely beautiful and consistently warm.

Mr. Piercy has performed at many of the worlds acclaimed concerts halls including Carnegie Hall (NY, NY), Lincoln Center (NY, NY), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC.), the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Chicago, Illinois), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Wigmore Hall (London, England), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome, Italy) and Parthenon (Tokyo, Japan).

A versatile artist defying categorization – performing on the Emmy Award-winning children’s CD and DVD Juno Baby; playing Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Earl Wild; performing concert improvisations with Donal Fox; performing Mozart with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade; playing Broadway songs with Raoul Julia; conducting Cabaret or Rodgers & Hammerstein; working with the composer Leonard Bernstein; appearing in a KRS-ONE music video; recording with members of Maroon 5; - as an instrumentalist, singer, director and music director/conductor and actor, he has performed for Broadway and Off-Broadway, television, radio, video and commercial recordings.

His many festival appearances have included a featured performance in memory of Leon Russianoff at the 1991 International ClarinetFest and a concert of contemporary American music at the 2005 ClarinetFest in Tokyo, Japan, and an all-Piazzolla concert at the 2007 International Clarinet Festival in Vancouver, Canada. He has performed in concerts and festivals in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, The United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan.

A recipient of numerous scholarships, prizes and awards, he studied clarinet, voice and conducting at the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Virginia Commonwealth University and Shenandoah Conservatory. Piercy's earliest studies were in both voice and clarinet. He began his college education studying clarinet under Dr. Stephen Johnston at Shenandoah Conservatory and Gailyn Parks at Virginia Commonwealth University. He later moved to New York City to study with Gervase De Peyer under scholarship at Mannes College of Music; he continued to study extensively with De Peyer after leaving Mannes. Piercy later studied with and soon became an assistant to the renowned clarinet pedagogue Leon Russianoff; additional clarinet studies and reed-making studies were undertaken with clarinetist, reed, barrel and mouthpiece maker, and composer Kalmen Opperman. In demand as a clarinet, sax and voice teacher, many of Piercy's students have gone on to schools and careers in music.

Piercy is currently the Artistic Director and clarinetist of the Gotham Ensemble. A mixed vocal and instrumental ensemble based in New York City, the Gotham Ensemble premieres, performs and records a wide variety of repertoire, from the Classical to the avant-garde. A New York Times review of Gotham's Merkin Hall, New York City, performance of a program of Olav Thommessen's music specifically encouraged the public to go out and purchase the recordings. After a performance of Ned Rorem's "Ariel" at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Rorem wrote of Gotham as one of America's important chamber music groups performing new music today. Albany Records recently released Gotham Ensemble Plays Ned Rorem, a CD of Ned Rorem's chamber music featuring the clarinet.

A frequent performer of new music, Mr. Piercy has premiered numerous compositions, many of them written for him, by such composers as Milton Babbit, Allan Blank, Ed Bland, Philippe Bodin, Wendy Mae Chambers, Elisenda Fabrégas, David Featherolf, Donal Fox, Nicolas Gilbert, Silas Huff, Yohei Kurihara, Benjamin Lees, Takeshi Ogawa, Sergey Oskolkov, Joseph Perhson, André Ristic, Robert Xavier Rodriguez, Erin Rogers, Manly Romero, Ned Rorem, Marjorie Rusche, Garth Sunderland, Olav Anton Thommessen, Perry Townsend and many others.

Mr. Rorem, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Grammy Award-winning composer, wrote his only clarinet and piano piece, "Four Colors," for Mr. Piercy. The work had its premier at an 80th birthday concert celebration for Mr. Rorem at Carnegie Hall in the fall of 2003.

Upcoming projects include CD releases of music by Villa-Lobos, Piazzolla, music for clarinet and guitar, and a second volume of Ned Rorem chamber works featuring the clarinet.
Additional Specialisms: Orchestral Playing, Session Work, Solo Performance, Contemporary Music, Improvisation
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