NSO’s principal clarinet on retiring after four-plus decades with the orchestra

Posted on: May 31, 2016

“Loren Kitt, 74, has been the principal clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra since 1970,” writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (5/27) Washington Post. “In the middle of this season, he quietly left the orchestra and retired to his home in Maine. He will be honored at the NSO performance on June 9.… Q: What prompted your decision to leave now? A: … I wanted to go at the first of the year, but I said, ‘unless there’s a tour,’ which would be kind of a nice finishing touch. [The NSO went to Europe in February.] It was a very nice tour … sort of like a honeymoon. Q: You played the Copland clarinet concerto under [Aaron] Copland, did you not? A: I played it with him about six times. The first was in 1976.… Copland was pretty good. He eschewed the modern fast tempos and loud playing. He’d say to the brass, ‘Noble, gentlemen, noble. I don’t understand why everyone takes this so fast.’ Q: How do you see the future of the NSO? A: … There are so many good players…. It’s the best wind section I’ve ever played in…. I’m very excited about that, that it is so good.”

Posted May 31, 2016