Tag Archives: Benny Goodman

Interview with Composer Allen Shawn

Allen Shawn © 2018 by Cynthia Locklin

Recently, I had the great pleasure of talking to Allen Shawn. I had reached out to him in the context of my research on Benny Goodman, as he had received a composition commission from Goodman in 1983, resulting in a double concerto for clarinet, cello, and orchestra. Apart from that, Shawn has been working with numerous other performers throughout his career and his work is strongly influenced by such collaborations.

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How the “King of Swing” Became my Pilot Study for Commissioning Classical Music

Some years ago, when I more often played the clarinet myself, I put Aaron Copland’s clarinet concerto on my music stand. “For Benny Goodman,” it read on the top of the first page. What hasn’t really attracted my attention before, now distracted me from practicing the challenging cadenza: When, how, why was this piece created? I started reading and researching, and soon learned that Goodman commissioned Copland to write a concerto for him in 1947/48 for 2,000 US dollars.

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