Press release: The International Clarinet Extravaganza

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The second International Clarinet Extravaganza will take place from 28 January until 1 February 2020 at the UFS Odeion School of Music (OSM) in Bloemfontein under the curatorship of Danré Strydom. Strydom founded the bi-annual event, which was successfully presented for the first time in 2016.

Danré Strydom, the clarinet and saxophone lecturer at the OSM stated the main objectives of the festival is to expose South African clarinet players, from beginners to advanced, as well as teachers and lecturers, to international clarinet trends and excellent artistry. Apart from the artistic event's workshops will also be presented regarding technical aspects with reference to mouthpieces, instruments, reeds and other equipment.

The international mentors and soloists for the second International Clarinet Extravaganza will be:



Participants will receive individual and group masterclasses from the above-mentioned experts as well as other first-rate educators on a daily basis. In addition, they will also have opportunities to play in diverse ensembles and perform in daily concerts.  Special attention will be given to intonation, sight-reading and ensemble playing.

Competitions and prizes

Several prizes are on offer. The best clarinet player of the 2020 extravaganza will receive a full scholarship to attend the annual prestigious clarinet course at the Clarinetsonstage Academy in Mesen Belgium. According to Strydom, a top-notch group of international clarinet masters will be presenting the course 8-11 April 2020.

In addition, a composition competition is presented again and is open to composers of any age and any country. There are three categories - for clarinet and piano, clarinet and string quartet and clarinet, chamber orchestra. The winners will be announced during the opening ceremony and performed during the extravaganza.  Professional recordings will be made and extracts from the compositions will be published in the international clarinet magazine The Clarinet. Entry to the competition is free.

Learners from Gr 1 to 12 can participate in an art competition. The theme is the depiction of a clarinet in any medium and seen from the perspective of the artist.

Entries must be submitted to the OSM at the latest on January 24 at 16:00.

The winners will be announced in the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO) concert on the last night of the festival.


During the festival, all participants will have ample performance opportunities. 

Four lunchtime concerts are scheduled, as well as a gala concert by the celebrated Odeion String Quartet with the visiting artists as soloists.  An evening gala concert will be presented in collaboration with the Free State Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Fokkens premiering the newly commissioned works. The OSM Camerata under the baton of Elsabe Raath will premiere the work for chamber orchestra later this year during the annual OSM Dean’s concert. Every day will commence with a joint clarinet choir rehearsal. The clarinet choir will have a performance toward the end of extravaganza in a shopping mall.

The official accompanists for the extravaganza will be Anneke Lamont and Lesley-ann Matthews of the OSM, Jana Matthee of the North-West University School of Music as well as Cézarre Strydom from the Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch.

Participation in the extravaganza costs R800, which includes attending all the concerts and masterclasses as well as a festival T-shirt. Prospective candidates in need of financial assistance can email

Detailed information about the complete programme and all the international artists and mentors can be acquired from the official Facebook page ZA International Clarinet Extravaganza.

The official partners for the event are the OSM, FSSO, Odeion String Quartet, OSM Camerata, Buffet Crampon and Toms in Bloemfontein. Participation by the international artists and mentors were made possible by the Rupert Foundation and the Bloemfontein International Arts Trust.

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