MusicaNova begins the Community Concerts season with the return (by very popular demand!) of clarinetist Alex Dergal, with collaborative pianist Gail Novak. Alex plays music from Poulenc, Stravinsky, Denisov, and Brahms; he’ll be back in April as soloist in Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2
Saturday, September 23
Scottsdale Presbyterian Church
3145 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale
Free Admission for All
Clarinetist Alex Dergal is a rising senior at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio where he studies with Richard Hawkins and performs with the Oberlin Orchestra and Contemporary Music Ensemble. He’s a graduate of Dobson High School in Mesa, AZ.
In the summer of 2017, Alex attended Colorado College’s Summer Music Festival where he studied with Jon Mananse and Bil Jackson. The previous summer, Alex attended Round Top Festival Institute and studied with Pavel Vinnitsky. Alex went on tour during January of 2016 with Oberlin Conservatory and performed in Chicago’s Ganz Hall and Symphony Center. HIs performance of Stephen Hartke’s Meanwhile, with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, inspired music critic Mike Telin to write in the Cleveland Classical review that “Clarinetist Alex Dergal… played with melodic flair, incisive rhythm, and precise intonation.”
Mr. Telin also wrote about the orchestra’s performance of The Rite of Spring at Symphony Hall the following night: “…bass clarinetist Alex Dergal deserve a special nod for his excellent work.”
Alex has also been a part of two different recording projects with Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. The first was playing bass clarinet on Richard Wernick’s Concerto for Cello and Ten Players, with soloist Darrett Adkins; the second was Jesse Jones’ One Bright Morning with soloist Olivia Boen.
During the summer of 2015 Alex attended Eastern Music Festival, and at the beginning of the 2014- 2015 school year Alex performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the Symphony of the Southwest after being chosen as a grand-prize winner in their youth concerto competition. During the summer of 2014, Alex went on tour with the National Youth Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson and soloist Gil Shaham.
While still in the Valley of the Sun, Alex was named grand prize winner in the Symphony of the Southwest’s youth concerto competition and performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with them.
Learn more about Alex in this Meet the Artist profile.
Alex’s Recital Program
Francis Poulenc, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
I. Allegro tristamente
III. Allegro con fuoco
Igor Stravinsky, Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo
I. Quarter Note = 52
II. Eighth Note = 168
III. Eighth Note = 160
Edison Denisov, Sonata for Solo Clarinet
I. Lento, poco rubato
II. Allegro giusto
Johannes Brahms, Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1
I. Allegro appassionato
II. Andante un poco adagio
III. Allegretto grazioso
Collaborative pianist Gail Novak, a resident of Mesa, Arizona, is in demand as a collaborative artist in the United States and abroad. Gail performs often at Arizona State University and in the Phoenix area with university faculty, students, and guest artists.
She has served as an official accompanist for International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests in Tempe, Columbus, Ostend, Tokyo, Norman, North Ridge, Lincoln, Manhattan Kansas, and Orlando and International Trumpet Guild, International Double Reed Conferences and the National Flute Conventions, the National Trumpet Competition, as well as being the featured collaborator at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium in Norman, Oklahoma for quite a few years.
She has played with David Shifrin, Jon Manasse, and Larry Combs, Stanley Drucker among others.
Gail can be heard with great instrumentalists on Potenza, Crystal and Summit Records.
She has a studio of very talented students, performs with the Mesa Community College choir and is the pianist and organist at Apache Wells Community Church in Mesa.
Samuel Xu, 16, is a junior at Arizona Virtual Academy. A versatile performer, he plays both classics and contemporary works with artistry that belies his age. He began piano study at the age of six with his mother, Hong Zhu, and continued to study with his father, Fei Xu, since he was eleven.
Samuel was the first prize winner of the 2015 IIYM International Piano Competition. His other piano prizes include winner of the Arizona State Music Teachers National Association Junior Piano Competition, the Arizona Young Artist Piano Competition, the Steinway Avanti Star Piano Competition, and the Arizona Musicfest Youth Piano Competition.
A Chopin National Foundation of America scholarship recipient for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, Samuel made his orchestra debut with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta in May 2015, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In January 2016, he performed Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F Major, along with an enthusiastic audience-demanded encore, with the MusicaNova Orchestra
In addition to piano, Samuel’s artistic interests include drawing and designing computer games.