The traditional Republic Competition of Young Clarinetists of Serbia 2013 was held in Belgrade last month. ANDREJ ZUPAN, a renowned Slovenian clarinetist, was a member of the jury. I took the opportunity to make a brief conversation with him for the visitors of this website
RL: Colleague Zupan, please tell me something about yourself and your musical education.

– I was born in Ljubljana in 1972 and  started learning the clarinet in the School of Franc Šturm under professor Slavko Goričar. I continued my studies at the High School of Music in the class of my father, professor Alojz Zupan, finished the Faculty of Music at the University of Ljubljana in 1994, and completed postgraduate studies in 1995. I attended classes with professor Vincenzo Mariozzij (St. Cecilia-Rome) and professor Alois Brandhofer (Mozarteum-Salzburg).

RL: Where are you currently working?

– I work as a professor of clarinet at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet in Ljubljana, and as a docent of clarinet at the Academy of Music, University of Ljubljana, where, besides clarinet and chamber music, I teach didactics of blowing, knowledge of wind literature.

RL: Among many awards you’ve won, I know that the one from 1985 is your favorite?
– Yes, I was only thirteen when I got a recognition the Young Musician of the Year in Yugoslavia. The same year, I represented Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Concert of Young Musicians in Madrid (Spain). Furthermore, I was awarded eight first prizes at the competitions of young musicians.
RL: In which orchestras and countries have you played?

– In 1995 I was accepted in ˝Orchestre de Jeunes de la Mediterranee ˝ in France, where I played as the first clarinetist on tours in Europe and Africa. I had played in the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra for ten years. In 1993 I became a solo clarinetist in the orchestra of the National Opera and Ballet in Ljubljana, where I had also played for 11 years.

RL: Tell me about your solo performances.

– I have had several solo performances and recordings with orchestras throughout Slovenia (Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of RTV Slovenia, Big Band of RTV Slovenia, the Symphony Orchestra of the Music Academy, the Brass Orchestra of the Music Academy, the Belgrade Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the Workers Band Trbovlje …).
I cooperate with many musicians. I am a co-founder of the world-famous Slovenian Clarinet Quartet with whom I have performed in many countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Austria, France, Belgium), and with a trio Katerm I have performed with my wife, a famous soprano Nataša Zupan.
RL: I know that you have recorded a lot for radio and television. You have many CDs.
– As a soloist and member of chamber ensembles, I recorded several CDs:
  • Slovenian Clarinet Quartet (published in 1995)
  • The Best Years (Gallus Carniolus 1998)
  • Klarinetovanje (published in 1999)
  • Our Story (published in 1999)
  • ISO 2001 (Desk Top Music in 2001)
  • Jazz Heart Kitsch (Desk Top Music in 2001)
  • Resia Valley (2003), SCK Live (2004)
  • Clariland (2004), Mosaic (OML 2004)
  • Pocket Music (2005)
  • Ethno Clarinet Music and Balkan Gypsy Music(2005)
  • Brass band Eta Cerkno (2006)
  • Clownery (Sound-Tech 2006)
  • Shepherd On a Scale (2007)
  • Mnemosyne (2007)
  • OML Live (2009)
  • Made in Slovenia (Artium 2012)
RL: I’m very surprised with your great engagement in the field of music, clarinet and socio-organizational activities.
– I participate in juries at national and international clarinet competitions and I am a co-author of the first Slovenian monograph on the clarinet.
For ten years now I have been leading- conducting in Ljubljana one of the best mandolin orchestras in Europe. We’ve won on the greatest international competitions (Germany, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia). We’ve had concerts in many countries. It is interesting to say that in Slovenia tickets for all concerts were sold more than a month earlier.

Besides this mandolin orchestra, I lead the famous brass band Eta Cerkno.

Since 2009, I have been the artistic director of the International Music Festival   “Musical Summer at Podsreda Castle”.

RL: This year you have been a member of the jury at the Republic Competition of Young Serbian Clarinetists in 2013?
– Yes, it was held in Belgrade from 11 – 12 April 2013.
RL: Every year you hold several seminars. This year from 30 June to 6 July 2013 you will be holding a seminar for clarinetists. Please, tell the readers a little more about it.
– Yes. I have been giving seminars and master classes for clarinetists for a long time in Slovenia and abroad. As you have said I’m just about to hold a new seminar for clarinetists from 30 June to 6 July 2013.
RL: Who is the seminar for and what topics do you plan to teach?
– The seminar is intended for students of clarinet and all teachers who want to improve their skills in teaching clarinet. I plan this seminar in the form of an active, practical work with students.
The emphasis will be on preparing students to improve their skills in playing the clarinet and the candidates who intend to continue studying the clarinet at secondary music schools, conservatories and music academies.
In addition to the interpretation of compositions, we are going to deal with technical problems that are often encountered, and also with the problem of selecting mouthpieces, reeds, etc…
RL: Do you intend to add some works of Radivoj Lazić and Vlastimir Peričić to your clarinet repertoire in the future?
– Certainly. I like the compositions of these favorite authors for beginners and students of clarinet as well as for perfect clarinetists. Concertino in G minor and Introduction, Themes and Variations are compositions which I will certainly include in my repertoire and recommend them to my students at the Academy of Music and the Conservatory of Music in Ljubljana where I work as a professor.
RL: Tell the readers on which brand of clarinet do you play, what brand of mouthpiece do you have and which reeds do you use?
– From the beginning, I play on the Selmer Paris clarinet. I started with es-clarinet, continued with Selmer seria 9, then Slemer seria 10Sand 10SII. I am currently playing on the clarinet Selmer Signature. As a home artist of the Selmer Paris factory I have supported its development. I use different mouthpieces depending on the genre of music which I perform. For classical music, I use brand Lomax mouthpiece and Vandoren reeds. For jazz and ethnic music I have been using lately Vandoren M30 mouthpiece and reeds of Canadian manufacturer Légére Signature. I often use and handmade reeds of French manufacturer M.A.R.C.A. With factories Selmer Paris, Vandoren, M.A.R.C.A. and Légére I work as an artist and promoter of their products throughout the world.





Here is an interview with clarinetist Stefano Carsili from Italy, the member of a jury of the Republic Competition of Young Serbian Clarinetists, Belgrade 2013

RL: Mr. Carsili, please tell me, when did you graduated and who was your teacher of the clarinet?

– I graduated in 1990 under guidance of Mr. Paolo Raspetti and then studied the clarinet technique with M° Vincenzo Mariozzi, the first solo clarinetist in the “Santa Cecilia National Symphony Orchestra” in Rome and a very famous clarinet player around the world.

RL: Where do you play?

– I play with the Symphony Orchestra (Accademia Concertante d’Archi of Milan, Nova Amadeus of Rome, Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra of Milan), Wind Orchestra and Chamber Music Groups.

I have also played in the famous music halls and theatres: Milan Chatedral, Frascobaldi Institute of Perugia, Todi International Festival of Arts, International Festival of Two Worlds of Spoleto, Municipal theatres of Terni, Grenoble, Annecy, Paris, Strasbourg, Dreux, Toronto, Munchen, City of the Vaticano, Dante Alighieri Institute in Alexandria, Cairo Opera House, ecc.

RL: Who have you played and recorded for?

– I have played concerts for Italian government and for R. A. I., Radio Tre, Mediaset Sky tv and TMC (Italian televisions and radios) and recorded for Fonit Cetra and Rainbow Classics labels.

RL: Do you teach Master Classes?

– Yes, I do. I  teach Master Classes for the clarinet and chamber music in Sogliano al Rubicone and Castrocaro Terme high level music schools.

RL: You are also present in national and international clarinet and chamber music competitions, are you?

– Yes, I am the member of a jury in national and international clarinet and chamber music competitions and collaborator of “Ripamonti”, Italian hand made clarinet and M. A. R. C. A, French hand made reeds.

RL: Can you tell me something about your music career?

– My music career is as follows:

In 2005,  I was invited to participate in the Changchun International Clarinet Festival and in Xian Conservatory (Shanghai) like a performer and teacher of the clarinet and chamber music.

In 2006, a winner of the International contest for teaching the clarinet and chamber music at the  Kuwait University, and in January 2008 was selected to teach clarinet in Manila’s Conservatory of Music.

In 2008, participated in the final competition of the principal clarinet by  the New York Philharmonic.


Stefano Carsili

I have got a title of an extra musician in the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and in the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In february 2009, I was called to record from live concert, by “Discoteca  Italiana di Stato” with my trio “A night at the Opera”.

I am also a teacher of clarinet and wind instruments in C. E. I, the European youth symphony orchestra composed by the best musicians between 11 and 18 years of age, the director, and the clarinet and theory teacher in the “Una sera all ’Opera” music schools and the Academy.

RL: What are your impressions about the competition and your staying in Belgrade?

It was a nice competition. People here are so warm and nice. Everything has been well organized.

RL: Which compositions and composers do you prefer to perform?

I intend to put some pieces for clarinet which you have composed on my repertoire. They are nice and beautiful.

RL: Now, tell me what brand of clarinet do you play?

– I play on the clarinetRipamonti from 2000 (before I had a Selmer Recital and a Buffet RC).

RL: The young clarinetist, readers of this website, will certainly be interested in what brand and type of mouthpiece and reeds do you use to play on?

– I play on the mouthpiece of a Licostini with a different opening and I use Marca reeds.

RL: In the end, tell me will you come to Belgrade again?

I wish I would come to this city in October.

RL: Then, see you again in Belgrade. I wish you all the best and a very successful artistic career.

Thanks and best regards to all the young clarinetists and visitors of this site.