Burt Hara, clarinet

In 24 years as the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal clarinet, Burt Hara has drawn acclaim for his solo appearances—in works of Bernstein, Copland, Debussy, Nielsen, Weber and others—and many chamber performances. In recent seasons he has been featured on Orchestra programs playing Messiaen’s Abyss of the Birds, from Quartet for the End of Time, Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Sinfonia concertante, Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata and Crusell’s Second Clarinet Concerto.

Before his appointment in Minnesota, Hara was principal clarinet of the Alabama Symphony. He also served for one year as principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Cedar Rapids Symphony and Colonial Symphony. In January 2010 he performed with the New York Philharmonic as acting principal clarinet for one week.

An active chamber musician, Hara has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Pensacola Chamber Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards, Salt Bay Chamberfest and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, as well as the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest.

Hara has been a faculty member at the University of Alabama and University of Montevallo and now serves on the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Music. He is also a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival. As a guest lecturer and clinician, he has presented master classes at institutions and for ensembles including the Curtis Institute, Yale University, Duquesne University, East Carolina University, Grand Teton Orchestral Training Seminar, New World Symphony, Northwestern University, Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Southern California, West Coast Clarinet Symposium and Minnesota Youth Symphonies.

A native of California, Hara earned a bachelor of music degree in 1984 from Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, where his principal teachers were Donald Montanaro, Yehuda Gilad and Mitchell Lurie. He is a Buffet Crampon USA performing artist.