Scholarship Recipient Update – Christopher Pell
25-year-old clarinetist Christopher Pell appeared on From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley on Show 196, recorded in May 2009. On the show, he received From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Here is what he has been up to since then, along with some of his thoughts on how the award has impacted his life.
Clarinetist Saves The Day In A Big Way
Christopher Pell graduated from The Juilliard School in 2013 as a student of Jon Manasse and has twice been a fellow at The Tanglewood Music Center. In his senior year at Juilliard, he was hired as a clarinetist for the Louisiana Philharmonic. He appeared as a soloist with them in February of 2013 when he stepped in at a moment’s notice to perform the Copland Clarinet Concerto due to the poor health of the soloist. He later became the Principal Clarinetist with the LPO.
Christopher has also appeared as soloist with The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, the U.S. Army Band at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fischer Hall, and The Long Island Sound Symphony. In 2015 Chris won 1st prize in the Vandoren Emerging Artists Competition for clarinet and saxophone, 1st prize in the International Clarinet Association High School Competition, and has competed in the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany. His chamber ensemble, called Nola 360, was nominated for the best chamber music performance of 2013 by the Big Easy Classical Arts Committee.
What The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award Meant To Christopher
“When I received the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award I remember I used a large chunk of the money to purchase a large store credit with Wright Music in New York. This paid for all my reeds, cork grease, and other clarinet equipment that I needed for about three years. I also used it to buy mouthpieces. And finally, I bought a laptop with the rest of the funds. More importantly, the scholarship gave me the financial freedom from the stress of early college life and allowed me to purchase the musical goods I needed to play at a higher level. It freed me up financially to have more options and allowed me to work on my tone and my sound without having to settle for less clarinet equipment. I could then focus on whatever I had been imagining musically in my head and not have do deal so much with the realities of money problems and not have to have such a burden on my mom. I can’t stress enough how beneficial it was for me and I felt so lucky to have gotten it. To me, as a high school senior with a single mom, $10,000 felt like millions.”
Learn more about Christopher and listen to him by clicking here.