Young musician returns to area

Concert: A Columbia-raised clarinetist, now a second-year student at the Juilliard School in New York, will perform in his hometown Saturday.


January 10, 2002|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Novelist Thomas Mann aptly described the clarinet as an instrument that sounds ghostly in its lower register "but higher up can gleam in silvery blossoming harmony."

Those evocative tonal extremes will be on display Saturday evening when Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia (UUCC) will present Columbia native Mark J. Dubac in a gala recital that also will feature Baltimore cellist Pei Lu and Peabody Institute adjunct faculty pianist Michael Adcock.

The concert, which will begin at 8 p.m. at Owen Brown Interfaith Center, is the second program in this year's UUCC Concert Series.

Dubac, a clarinetist and a graduate of Atholton High School in Columbia, is a second-year student at New York's Juilliard School, where he studies with Ricardo Morales, principal clarinetist of Maestro James Levine's Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

While at Atholton, Dubac played principal clarinet in the school's Symphonic Wind Ensemble and mallet percussion in the Raider Marching Band. He sang in every school choral group open to male voices.

Winner of the Columbia Orchestra's Young Artist Competition in 1998, Dubac also played first chair clarinet in Maryland's Junior and Senior High School All-State Bands and in the Howard Regional Youth Orchestra.

As a student at the national summer Arts Camp in Interlochen, Mich., Dubac performed in the Interlochen Five Woodwind Quintet and as a soloist in a concert with the superb American pianist Christopher O'Riley.

Dubac was accepted as a student participant by the Sarasota Music Festival in June 2000, which is where he first met and performed with Adcock, his Columbia neighbor.

"I'm very grateful to Michael for making this my recital - but doing so much of the organizing that basically all I had to do was show up and play," says the young clarinetist. "It's been a pleasure to work with him."

The dominant work to be performed Saturday is the mellow, gloriously autumnal "A minor Clarinet Trio" by Johannes Brahms. Also on the bill are Andre Messager's flashy "Solo de Concours," Heinrich Sutermeister's "Capriccio for Solo Clarinet," Bohuslav Martinu's tangy "Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano," the sensual "Tango Etudes" by Argentine composer Astor Piazzola, and the young Leonard Bernstein's "Clarinet Sonata."

"It's hard to prepare a recital like this at a place like Juilliard," Dubac says. "Everybody is so busy with their own work, it's hard to get them together to work things out in rehearsal. But these two great musicians come in fully prepared, knowing exactly what they want to accomplish. It's very special, and it keeps you on your toes."

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday at Owen Brown Interfaith Center, 7246 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students if bought before Saturday. An additional $2 will be charged for tickets bought at the door. Patron tickets for the full UUCC Concert Series are $25. Reservations and directions: 410-381-0097.

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