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Rick Sowash

Rick Sowash is an American composer.
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Rick Sowash, b. 1950, is a composer and an author. He has composed five
hundred musical compositions and has written eight books, the most recent
being How Music Means.
Rick self-publishes the sheet music for his original scores, providing free PDFs to
musicians who are interested in discovering his work. To obtain the PDFs, email
Rick at He has produced 18 CD recordings of his own compositions.
His music is often broadcast on Cincinnati’s WGUC and many other classical music
radio stations throughout the USA. He is a member of ASCAP, both as a composer
and as a publisher.
Rick lives with Jo, his wife of 51 years, in a Greek Revival home built in 1830 and
listed on the National Register of Historic Places, located in the semi-countryside
between Mariemont and Newtown, Ohio. They have two children: Shenandoah, 41,
and Chapman, 38.
More information:

Concerto for B flat Clarinet and Orchestra

Clarinet, Orchestra


Contact composer



Contact composer

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (2007)
I.  Allegro moderato
II.  Moderato “The View from Carew”
III.  Allegretto

In this concerto, I wanted to extend into the present day the great tradition of American-sounding composers like Randall Thompson, Copland, Gershwin, Barber, incorporating something of the sound they developed to evoke this continent's great open spaces, mixing elements of folk music, jazz and the filmscores of Hollywood’s great “westerns.”  The piece is an expression of exuberant optimism, affirming the goodness of friendship, of Nature and of simply being alive. The musical 'message' of the concerto is to affirm, as boldly as I know how to do, the notion that tonality, tunefulness and traditional musical architecture are still as powerfully expressive in the 21st century as they have ever been.

This work was written in response to years of gracious but tireless pestering on the part of my clarinetist friend Angelo Santoro, to whom the concerto is dedicated.  In 2000 Angelo asked me to write for him a one-movement Romance for clarinet and orchestra.  I complied with a Romance for Clarinet and Orchestra, entitled “The View from Carew,” evoking the view from atop Cincinnati’s highest building.   Angelo loved the piece and premiered it with the Cincinnati Community Orchestra.  He felt, however, that the Romance was destined to be the slow, middle movement of a full-length, three-movement concerto.  In the summer of ‘07, I finally accepted the challenge of writing the substantial outer movements that such an expansive middle movement would require.  

I want to thank David Drosinos for his enthusiasm for my music and for recording the work with the St. Petersburg Symphony.  David’s many tactfully expressed and extremely helpful suggestions, adding clarity, fluency and power to the solo clarinet part in this concerto.

-- Rick Sowash


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