Internationally acclaimed clarinetist Bryan A. Crumpler (b. 1979) is a born performer and world-class musician stuck in an athlete’s
body. Born to a family of superstar football players, he was destined to follow into a career in the National Football League. Having never been good at facing off with 300-lbs human bulldozers, however, he broke from the mould to take after his mother and has now become one of America’s most widely acclaimed clarinetists.
A Pulitzer-nominated composer, polyglot, WFIMC laureate, and prize winner in numerous national and international competitions throughout the globe, he has already built a multi-national concert career spanning 4 continents and nearly 100 concert venues as well as established an oeuvre of symphonic and chamber music works to build on his characteristic mode of artistic expression. To date, audiences big and small throughout the USA, the Netherlands, England, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and China have been able to witness Bryan at work.
Concertmaster Liviu Prunaru of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam as well as Alexandre Rabinovitch, longstanding piano-duo partner of Martha Argerich, have praised him for his enthusiastic performances. From his 2008 solo tour in South Africa, audiences spoke of him as “an Itzhak Perlman, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma equivalent” and aspects of his playing as “the closest one can get to God without dying first”. Celebrated jazz great Branford Marsalis put it simply: “He’s a real musician… and you don’t get to meet those every day”.
Bryan is a 2001 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholar, Bank of America Scholar and Elks National Foundation Scholar. He also pursued graduate studies in Clarinet Performance from 2004 to 2008 at the Royal Conservatory of Ghent, in Belgium, where he was a graduate fellow sponsored by the US Embassy and the Ministry of the Flemish Community. After embarking upon a national tour in South Africa, giving masterclasses & performances at the University of Pretoria, University of Cape Town, Hilton College, Michaelhouse of St. Michael’s Diocesan College, Orange Free State University, Johannesburg Musical Society and with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, he began collaborating with the North Carolina Symphony in the 2009-2010 season as an auxiliary. That same year, he became a pioneering member of the Teaching Artist faculty at the Atlanta Music Project, an El Sistema program borne out of a TED Prize Wish that brings music opportunities to underserved communities of Atlanta. He has additionally served as a mentor for the Emory University Department of Music, as a guest adjudicator for the Atlanta Symphony’s Talent Development Program, and as a presenter for the Woodruff Arts Center Community ARTreach program, and is a distinguished member of the Morehead-Cain Foundation’s Alumni Advisory Board for Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2015, he was nominated for a Pulitzer prize in music for his Concerto No. 1.0 written in 2012, which had been conceptualized over a period of 14 years until VST technology was advanced enough to fully produce and perform along with it. The project landed him a sponsorship from the Georgia Symphony Orchestra to vie for the Aaron Copland Fund for Music’s Recording Program. Despite being passed over for the grant, the early interest became the impetus to pursue the title of Composer/Producer. He has since produced 16 records, drawn upon his Computer Science background to engrave hundreds to thousands of pages of new music as a Lilypond programmer/developer; and in 2017, he became the first clarinetist/composer to successfully supplant Igor Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo, which he transformed into a full orchestral suite replete with all the themes and challenges of the original unaccompanied work. The work had never been previously orchestrated in its 100 years of existence. The new work was unveiled to the public in 2018 during the centenary year of the original solo work’s conception (1918), an act which caused a grave amount of disruption, confusion, hatred, disgust and mixed opinions to the various extremes from the international clarinet community.
You can find Bryan’s composition work at bryancrumpler.com