Top clarinetist to serve as guest artist at Arts Academy this fall

A sought-after recitalist and chamber musician, Richie Hawley is former principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Professional portrait of Richie Hawley

Interlochen Arts Academy is welcoming guest artist Richie Hawley, who will begin teaching in fall 2024. Hawley will work closely with current Instructor of Clarinet and Alexander Technique Dr. Karen Benda to develop a comprehensive clarinet program emphasizing essential fundamentals and performance techniques. Benda will provide weekly lessons and studio classes, while Hawley will visit the campus for multiple residencies each semester for masterclasses, coaching sessions, and a recital performance featuring all of Interlochen’s clarinet students. Together, they will share their wealth of expertise as they inspire and nurture Arts Academy students.

Richie Hawley is one of the most celebrated clarinetists of his generation, a sought-after recitalist and chamber musician who regularly appears on stages around the world. During his 17 years as principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), he made an indelible mark on the institution. Hailed by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “an example of the real virtuosity that lies within the [CSO’s] ranks” and praised for possessing the “seamless flowing tone so many clarinetists long for and few can achieve,” he has awed audiences and critics with his technique and velvety tone. Hawley has also left his mark on recorded classical music, appearing on dozens of albums with the CSO.

In 2011, Hawley left the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and moved to Houston, Texas, to become the Professor of Clarinet at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. During the summer months he is in residence as a faculty artist at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, one of the premiere summer festivals for exceptionally talented musicians. Hawley has garnered awards both as a performer and an educator. He won the Coleman-Barstow prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 1988 with Trio con Brio; the same year, he was one of five musicians to receive the Gold Medal as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House. He is a two-time recipient of the Léni Fé Bland Foundation Career Grant and was awarded the 2009 Glover Award for outstanding teaching at University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Students at Interlochen Arts Academy have the opportunity to learn directly from outstanding faculty members—all of whom are accomplished musicians and dedicated teachers. Learn more about studying music at Interlochen Arts Academy.