Richard H Dobeck, clarinet

Age: 27 
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA
School: The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music (graduated May 2017)
Number of Years in AYS: 1st year

How did you pick your instrument? 
My older sister started playing the clarinet when she was in the fourth grade. Going into her second year of playing it, she convinced our parents to buy her a student model clarinet. She continued to play the clarinet for a couple more years, until she switched to the bassoon. When I started the fourth grade, I decided to also pick the clarinet, so I would be able to use the instrument we had at home that was not being used. I also thought it would be a good transition from playing the recorder the year prior. I later found out that the reason my sister chose the clarinet was because of our late grandfather. He passed away many years ago, well before my parents even met. He was an amateur clarinetist and pianist, and he inspired a love for classical music in my mother’s family. I currently have a few heirlooms of his: some of his print music, and his clarinet, which could be over 100 years old. While I continue to play the clarinet because of my own love for the instrument and music, I enjoy continuing on the legacy of a man that meant so much to my mother whom I never got to meet.

What is your favorite aspect of being a classical musician?
I enjoy having a very niche craft. I take pleasure in always having something new to work on, in regards to my clarinet and the music I play. I always have to break in new reeds, I learn how to better work on reeds, and my attempts at such have a very immediate response. Different aspects of my technique when playing the clarinet are always in need of refining. Just as I finish improving my sense of rhythm and pulse, I realize that my fingers need to be more accurate, and my ability to recognize intonation can also be better. When I play pieces of music for friends and colleagues, they often point out something that could make it better that I had not considered beforehand. There’s always something more to work on, and I love that music gives me this opportunity.

What do you hope to provide your audience with through your music?
All sorts of emotional responses. I believe it would be incorrect to say that classical music only provides relaxation, sense of peace, or catharsis. Music was written to describe a whole range of human emotions and experiences. Whatever the composer set out to elicit in their music is what I hope to share with my audiences. Whatever we do play, I also hope to inspire a love of classical music.