Meily Mendez (left) and Daniel Becker
Meily Mendez (left) and Daniel Becker

The last time clarinetist Daniel Becker appeared at the Arizona Senior Academy as a master’s level graduate student, he won over the audience with his technical virtuosity and artistry as his fingers flew effortlessly over the clarinet. Now a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona, Becker will again perform in recital on Tuesday (Oct. 20) at 11:30 a.m. He will be joined by fellow UA doctoral student, pianist Meily Mendez.

Their program opens with “Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano” (1981) by the British composer, conductor and pedagogue, Joseph Horovitz. Born in Vienna in 1926, Horovitz emigrated to England as a 12-year-old at the time of the Nazi invasion and forced incorporation of Austria. His compositions include ballets, concertos, operas and chamber music.

The following piece will be “Le Tombeau de Ravel, Valse-Caprices” (1958) by the Australian composer and piano teacher, Arthur Benjamin. This homage to Maurice Ravel demonstrates the stylistic influence of Ravel on Benjamin.

The concert will close with the first movement of the “Clarinet Concerto No. 4 in E Minor” by Ludwig Spohr. The prolific 19th century violinist-composer is best known today for his four clarinet concertos, all written for the virtuoso Johann Hermstedt.

Both Becker and Mendez have performed extensively in the United States and abroad. They began their collaborations in 2012, performing a varied repertoire for clarinet and piano.

Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

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Clarinetist to Play Horovitz, Benjamin, Spohr: October 2015
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