Open Widget Area

“David  Krakauer  is  such  an  overwhelmingly  expressive  clarinetist  who  moves  so   seamlessly  between  different  genres  that  for  a  minute  you’d  almost  think  that  there’s  no   appreciable  difference  between  jazz,  klezmer  and  formal  classical  music.”

-­  Will  Friedwald  The  Wall  Street  Journal  

      Only  a  select  few  artists  have  the  ability  to  convey  their  message  to  the  back  row,  to   galvanize  an  audience  with  a  visceral  power  that  connects  on  a  universal  level.  David   Krakauer  is  such  an  artist.    Widely  considered  one  of  the  greatest  clarinetists  on  the  planet,   he  has  been  praised  internationally  as  a  key  innovator  in  modern  klezmer  as  well  as  a  major   voice  in  classical  music.  In  2015  he  received  a  Grammy  nomination  in  the  Chamber   music/small  ensemble  category  as  soloist  with  the  conductorless  orchestra  “A  Far  Cry”,  and   a  Juno  nomination  for  the  CD  “Akoka”  with  cellist  Matt  Haimovitz.          For  the  past  decade  Krakauer  has  emerged  as  an  electrifying  symphonic  soloist  who  brings   his  singular  sound  and  powerful  approach  to  the  concert  stage.  He  has  appeared  with  the   world’s  finest  orchestras  including  the  Amsterdam  Sinfonietta,  Baltimore  Symphony,   Brooklyn  Philharmonic,  Detroit  Symphony,  the  Weimar  Staatskapelle,  the  Orchestre  de   Lyon,  the  Phoenix  Symphony,  the  Dresdener  Philharmonie,  and  the  Seattle  Symphony.          

Highlights  of  Krakauer’s  lauded  career  include  performances  with  the  Kronos,  Emerson,   Tokyo,  Orion  and  Miro  String  Quartets;;  performing  during  the  inaugural  season  of  Carnegie   Hall’s  Zankel  Hall  with  renowned  jazz  pianist  Uri  Caine;;  an  eight-­year  tenure  with  the   Naumburg  Award-­winning  Aspen  Wind  Quintet;;  tours  and  recordings  with  Abraham  Inc   which  he  co-­leads  with  Socalled  and  Fred  Wesley  and  performing  in  the  International   Emmy  Award-­winning  BBC  documentary  Holocaust,  A  Music  Memorial  from  Auschwitz.          Krakauer’s  discography  contains  some  of  the  most  important  clarinet  recordings  of  recent   decades.  Among  them  are  The  Dreams  and  Prayers  of  Isaac  the  Blind  (Osvaldo  Golijov  and   the  Kronos  Quartet/Nonesuch)  received  the  Diapason  D’Or  in  France.  The  Twelve  Tribes   (Label  Bleu)  which  was  designated  album  of  the  year  in  the  jazz  category  for  the  Preis  der   Deutschen  Schallplattenkritik,  and  Paul  Moravec’s  Pulitzer  Prize  winning  composition   Tempest  Fantasy  (Naxos).  He  has  also  recorded  with  violinist  Itzhak  Perlman/  the   Klezmatics  (Angel)  and  Dawn  Upshaw/  Osvaldo  Golijov  (Deutsche  Gramophon).  His   unique  sound  can  be  heard  in  Danny  Elfman’s  score  for  the  Ang  Lee  film  Taking  Woodstock   and  throughout  Sally  Potter’s  The  Tango  Lesson.  New  releases  include  his  2015  album   Checkpoint  with  his  band  Ancestral  Groove  (Label  Bleu),  Paul  Moravec’s  Clarinet  Concerto   with  The  Boston  Modern  Orchestra  Project  (BMOP  sound)  and  The  Big  Picture  on  his  own   label,  Table  Pounding  Records  in  2014.       

Writer  Mark  Stryker  hinted  at  the  visceral  nature  of  Krakauer’s  performance  in  his  Detroit   Free  Press  review: “Krakauer  played  with  astounding  virtuosity  and  charisma.  A  furiously  improvised  cadenza   leapt  between  low  and  high  registers  in  a  way  that  suggested  John  Coltrane,  building  to  an   excited  peak.  After  the  concerto  he  also  offered  an  encore,  improvising  by  himself  with  an   air  of  ritual,  before  playing  a  swift  klezmer  dance  with  the  orchestra.”

Krakauer’s latest CD Checkpoint with his band Ancestral Groove was released in the US in 2016 and garnered a five star review in Downbeat Magazine. Already a critical hit in Europe, this recording represents the next step in his unique musical evolution. Here’s Krakauer remixing Krakauer, with his unmistakable sound, new arrangements of his signature repertoire and an electrifying 4-piece band.

At the 2015 Grammy Awards, Krakauer was nominated for his work in the category of Best Classical Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance along with his colleagues from the Boston based conductorless chamber orchestra: “A Far Cry”. The same year he also received a Juno nomination in Canada for his recording “Akoka” with cellist Matt Haimovitz.

An avid educator, David Krakauer is on the clarinet and chamber music faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College at the New School and the Bard Conservatory.

Krakauer’s Projects:

Krakauer With Orchestra

Krakauer-Tagg Duo: Breath and Hammer

Ancestral Groove

Abraham Inc.

The Big Picture


What people are saying about Krakauer:

“Masterful technique… boatloads of pure adrenaline… like a roaring free jazz solo, laced with virtuosic multiphonics…”
Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe

“Krakauer’s playing is transportive, it knocks on the door of mystical consciousness but then you want to clap your hands and stomp your feet and shout. Music doesn’t happen in the heavens; it’s mundane, phenomenal, earthy. No matter the transcendent intention, music is a deeply physical act. And Krakauer’s clarinet playing–fingers, breath and lips, the spittle and the calluses, the clacking of the keys–is grossly human. And as making music is physical, so is the listening. To listen to David Krakauer is to hear humility in the face of a great and lasting tradition while witnessing the essential rebellion that keeps culture moving, adapting, insisting. It’s about making clay tablets so to smash them, and then put the pieces in a box so the next generation can have them. Krakauer’s music reminds us to never sit still. God did not finish creating on the seventh day. He merely rested, waiting for us to continue the work. Krakauer is one of God’s greatest artificers.”
Peter Bebergal, author of Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood

“Discovering [klezmer] changed everything for me. It really did. Because I just fell madly in love with the music. My parents are both musicians— my father was a clarinetist, my mother was a really great bassoonist; she recorded with Stravinsky. Listening to David Krakauer had a tremendously powerful effect [on me]. It helped me discover Yiddish again, which was hugely important.”
Tony Kushner, playwright & screenwriter (Angels in America, Lincoln) quoted in Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish by Abigail Pogrebin

Endorser of:

Selmer Paris
D’Addario Woodwinds