One family, three principal clarinet posts in Vienna and Berlin philharmonics

Posted on: May 27, 2016

“It was a family affair last January at the Musikverein, when Ernst Ottensamer and his two sons joined the Vienna Philharmonic for the world premiere of Ivan Eröd’s Triple Concerto,” writes Rebecca Schmid in Wednesday’s (5/25) International New York Times. “The work was tailor-made to the soloists, all clarinetists…. The classical music world is not foreign to dynasties…. But the Ottensamers, who perform together as The Clarinotts, are creating an unusual legacy for their instrument and expanding the repertoire. Last January, the trio made its debut recording on the Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics label…. This August, at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, the trio will premiere another concerto, by … Georg Breinschmid…. Ernst, 60, and Daniel, 30, are principal clarinetists of the Vienna Philharmonic. Andreas, 27, is principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic…. The Ottensamers share a sound culture that is often noted for its warm, rounded phrasing and the soft but dark tone of the Viennese clarinet. All play instruments by the same manufacturer, Johanna Kronthaler. The familiarity of being among relatives allows for another level of homogeneity. ‘We barely need to discuss interpretative elements,’ Ernst said. ‘If one of us has an idea, it is immediately implemented.’ ”

Posted May 27, 2016

Pictured: Andreas Ottensamer (center), principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic; his brother, Daniel (left), and their father, Ernst (right), principal clarinetists of the Vienna Philharmonic. Photo by Lukas Beck