Nancy Braithwaite

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Nancy BraithwaiteInternationally renowned clarinetist and educator Nancy Braithwaite has performed throughout the USA, Europe and China.  As a soloist, she has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic, Savannah Symphony Orchestra and others in works by Mozart, Nielsen, von Weber and Rossini.  In addition, she has  been very active in chamber music with repertoire encompassing more than 250 works.  

Braithwaite studied with Stanley Hasty at the renowned Eastman School of Music graduating with the highest musical distinction, the Performers Certificate.   While studying for her master's degree at Northwestern University with Robert Marcellus (former principal clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell), she worked as his teaching assistant in both clarinet and chamber music. In the USA she furthered her study with Larry Combs, former principal clarinetist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  In Europe she earned a chamber music degree with the renowned violinist Eli Goren, former leader of the Allegri Quartet and Melos Ensemble and concertmaster of the BBC Symphony, and continued her clarinet studies with the internationally acclaimed Belgian soloist, Walter Boeykens.

At the age of 23 she won the position of principal clarinetist with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra.  While there she was also chosen to participate in summer festivals in Spoleto (Italy), Maine (USA) and Tanglewood (USA). In addition she performed for several seasons as principal clarinet of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, while a student at Northwestern University.

Since moving to The Netherlands , Nancy has made a number of radio recordings, toured throughout much of Europe and China and performed as guest artist with Camilli Quartet, Raphael Quartet, Goffriller Quartet, Spinoza Quartet, Engadin Quartet and Trio Microcosmos in works by Mozart, Brahms, Hindemith, Bliss, Keuris, Howells and von Weber.  Numerous composers have written works for her ranging in instrumentation from solo clarinet to octet. 

In recent years Nancy has performed extensively as a member of the Rietveld Ensemble (violin, clarinet, cello and piano ), Selima Trio (soprano, clarinet and piano), La Rondine (winds and piano), Trio Canteloube (oboe, clarinet and bassoon), Arto Ensemble (mezzo soprano, clarinet, violin, viola and cello), Emmelos Ensemble (octet with strings and winds), Trio Clara (clarinet, viola and piano), Frühling Trio (clarinet, cello and piano), Rondine Winds (wind octet) and regularly gives recitals with piano.

Braithwaite is founder and artistic director of the series Kromme-Rijn Concerten in Bunnik in which the Arto Ensemble functions as the core group performing with a wide variety of guest artists.  In addition, she founded a concert series in Utrecht with the Rietveld Ensemble in 2014.

In 2015 Nancy toured China giving master classes and recitals in four major Chinese cities and in March 2016 she  visited China again both as a jury member for a major clarinet competition in Beijing and to give master classes and recitals. Recently she has been invited to make a series of on-line video lessons on clarinet playing for the Chinese market. This project will begin in 2016.

Nancy is Professor of Clarinet and Chamber Music at the Rotterdam Conservatory (Codarts) and is an active performer in the Codarts teachers’ chamber music concert series.

She endorses the Uebel Superior clarinets and is a member of the Silverstein Inspiring Pro team endorsing the  Silverstein ligature and uses a Hans Colbers mouthpiece.

She is the mother of Amarins and Tsjalling Wierdsma and widow of the Dutch conductor Oane Wierdsma


website: nancybraithwaiteclarinet.com