Gunnar Owen Hirthe
Clarinetist,Gunnar Owen Hirthe is a Wisconsin native and currently a doctoral candidate studying new music for clarinet at Bowling Green State University’s Doctoral Program in Contemporary Music under the mentorship of Mr. Kevin W. Schempf. This distinguished program is focused on the artistic specialization of music from the 20th and 21st centuries from traditional to experimental and avant-garde to electronic. He is currently working on his dissertation titled Identity in the Clarinet Music of Michael Finnissy and Evan Ziporyn. This research aims to bring further understanding to the world of music inspired by cultures other than what we experience in the Western art music tradition and what these intersections mean to these composers, the performer and their audiences.
Gunnar has had the privilege to perform with professional chamber, wind, orchestral and faculty ensembles in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Vermont; with Arlo Guthrie at Carnegie Hall in New York; and for contemporary classical composers such as Christian Wolffe, David Maslanka, David Lang, Steven Stucky, Sean Shepherd, Nils Vigelund, Michael Quell, Kieran McMillan, Amy Williams, Roger Zahab, Mikel Kuehn and John McCowen. He was a soloist with the Green Bay Youth Symphony, The Ohio State University Symphony Orchestra in Columbus, OH, the Suburban Symphony Orchestra in Cleveland, OH, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and in 2016 joined as solo clarinetist with the No Exit New Music Ensemble in Cleveland, OH.
Gunnar currently holds the position of Adjunct Faculty – Instructor of Clarinet at College of Wooster’s Department of Music, teaching undergraduate music and non-music majors. He served as Clarinet Faculty at the Flint Institute of Music teaching individuals and groups, from beginners to retirees and music students from elementary to high school. During his time at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he performed and taught individual and group lessons via high-definition internet connection to various venues throughout the United States as part of their nationally recognized Distance Learning Program. While at The Ohio State and Bowling Green State Universities, Gunnar was a teaching assistant for the clarinet studios, teaching applied clarinet to music majors and non-majors of all levels, coaching woodwind chamber music ensembles and assisting various faculty in classroom teaching of Exploring Music: A Social Experience.
Gunnar has earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Performance from the University of Kentucky with Dr. Scott J. Wright; a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from The Ohio State University with Mr. James M. Pyne; and has a Professional Studies Diploma from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with world-renowned clarinetist and former Principal Clarinet of the Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Franklin Cohen.