Shulamit Ran's compositions for solo clarinet
Israeli-American composer Shulamit Ran was the first woman to be appointed Composer-in-Residence for a major orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1990–1997) and the second woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Music (1991). In addition, she has won numerous other awards and commissions. She has contributed greatly to the repertoire of the clarinet, having written two works for solo clarinet— For an Actor. Monologue for Clarinet in A and Three Scenes for Clarinet—as well as several chamber works that include the instrument. Since more than twenty years separate the creation of the two solo works, an in-depth investigation of the two may illustrate Ran's development as an important contemporary composer.
The first chapter of this document gives biographical information about Shulamit Ran and explicates her self-proclaimed style periods. Ran's works for clarinet are placed within these contexts. A review of the literature is included. Chapter two contains an analysis of For an Actor: Monologue for Clarinet in A while the third chapter addresses Three Scenes for Clarinet. To conclude each chapter performance considerations are addressed in order to aid future performers in the preparation of these works. In chapter four interviews with Laura Flax and Arthur Campbell, the clarinetists who commissioned and premiered the solo works, illuminate the circumstances surrounding the creation of the pieces. The final chapter compares the solo clarinet works. It is hoped that this project will increase awareness and thus encourage performances of Ran's newest composition for the clarinet, Three Scenes, while enabling more informed performances of the standard piece in the clarinet repertoire, For an Actor.