Date of Completion

Spring 4-25-2023

Thesis Advisor(s)

Kenneth Fuchs

Honors Major



Composition | Fine Arts | Music Theory


While seminal literature on concerto form analysis and compositions for clarinet and orchestra has been conducted, this undergraduate thesis is an exploration from a young composer’s perspective. My priority was discovering the breadth of what the clarinet concerto has to offer in order to learn how to place my own work as a composer into historical, cultural and aesthetic contexts.
First, I present an abridged history of the clarinet concerto. Despite this musical form being hundreds of years old, concerto composition is still relevant today because it is a display of balance; the best concerti are delicate balancing acts of intimate dialogues and fierce competitions between soloist and orchestra rolled into one seamless performance of engaging yet brilliant music. Second, I have written a guide to composing for the clarinet, based on my own experience and expanded with research by experts. Next, I have conducted studies of seven clarinet concerti: Concerto for Clarinet by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Zweites Konzert für Klarinette und Orchester by Carl Maria von Weber, Première Rhapsody by Claude Debussy, Clarinet Concerto by Gerald Finzi, Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra, with Harp and Piano by Aaron Copland, Clarinet Concerto by Katherine Hoover, and Ninian by Sir James MacMillan. Finally, this research is seen in creative application with my own compositional contribution: Morning Rhapsody for B♭ clarinet and chamber orchestra.