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Stephanie Zelnick

Professor of Clarinet at The University of Kansas. Principal Clarinet of the Boulder Philharmonic

Stephanie Zelnick is the Associate Professor of Clarinet at the University of Kansas and principal clarinet of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. The Clarinet states, “Zelnick’s vibrant interpretation is purely expressive and allows the music to come alive.” As a solo and chamber musician she has performed throughout North America, Asia, South America, and Europe to great critical acclaim.


As well as being recently broadcast on Performance Today and other NPR affiliates, she has performed and taught extensively in Italy, France, England, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain, Costa Rica, Israel, Slovakia, Germany, and most recently at festivals in Brazil, Lithuania, Mexico, Serbia, Romania, Colombia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan. Recent performances and masterclasses include the Juilliard School, Yale School of Music, Northwestern University, Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, Florida State University, Real Conservatorio Superior de Madrid, the Lithuanian Academy of Music, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Festival Internacional de Clarinetes Costa Rica, the Academy for the Performing Arts in Prague, and Carnegie Hall, among others. She was the recipient of awards from Privrednik, Serbia’s leading humanitarian organization, the Lithuanian Council on Arts and Science, and American embassies around the world and has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras.


Dr. Zelnick’s recordings can be heard on the Innova, Accademia del Clarinetto, and Naxos labels, among others. She has also released two solo albums, Diaspora and Diversions: the Midcentury Clarinet and a chamber album entitled AdZel. Of Diversions, The Clarinet states, “each note is shaped with care and warmth so that her full range of color effortlessly shines through.” Her most recent project Wind and Bow, recorded with members of the string section of the Kansas City Symphony, features rarely recorded works for clarinet and string quartet and will be released in 2019.


With Mariam Adam, she is a founder of the AdZel Duo, a group that is establishing cultural dialogues through music. The group has commissioned and recorded works by contemporary composers and created concerts with writers that incorporate spoken word and music. Released in 2018, their CD entitled AdZel received praise from The Clarinet for its “compelling unity of sound and excellent ensemble” and states “AdZel delivers polished, committed performances of stunning new works.”


She previously held principal clarinet positions in Central City Opera, Mississippi Symphony, Prague Opera Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, and Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and has appeared with various other orchestras including Colorado, Kansas City, Tallahassee, and Tucson Symphonies.


She has also appeared on numerous International Clarinet Association ClarinetFests as an invited artist and at other festivals and conferences. Dr. Zelnick has served on the artistic committees of the 2008 and 2016 ClarinetFests and hosted the latter event. She has published in The Clarinet on numerous occasions, including a featured article entitled, “The High Altitude Clarinetist.” In addition to her performing, she is a member of the National Peer Review Committee for the J. William Fulbright Committee.


Dr. Zelnick is especially proud of the many accomplishments of her students in the professional world and has previously served on the faculties of University of Northern Colorado and University of Wyoming. She received degrees from Rice University, University of Northern Colorado, and the Academy for the Performing Arts in Prague as a Fulbright Scholar. She is a Buffet Crampon Artist and Clinician.

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