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Clarinet pioneer to join the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre

Jeff Anderle

Jeff Anderle, a trailblazer in the clarinet world, will join the School of Music, Dance and Theatre as an assistant professor of clarinet in August. Courtesy photo

June 04, 2024

Jeff Anderle, a trailblazer in the clarinet world who is working to place a spotlight on the clarinet and bass clarinet through his innovative and diverse performances, ensembles and commissions, will join the Arizona State University School of Music, Dance and Theatre as an assistant professor of clarinet in August.

Anderle is an artist-teacher, performer, and commissioner and advocate for new music.

“We are thrilled that Jeff Anderle will join the ASU music faculty,” said Heather Landes, director of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. “Jeff brings a breadth of knowledge of clarinet and bass clarinet performance practice, commissioning new work, chamber music performance, technology and career preparation to our program that both complements and enhances our offerings in the woodwind area.”

An Henri Selmer Paris Performing Artist, Anderle said he has known about the program at ASU since his early days as a student.

“The ASU clarinet program has been a huge force in the clarinet world for decades, and alumni are doing amazing things around the country,” Anderle said. “I have had the opportunity to collaborate with students and faculty at conferences and as a visiting artist. The talent, creativity and kindness of everyone here is something very unique and special.”

Anderle’s diverse career ranges from playing in ensembles like the San Francisco Symphony to a bass clarinet heavy metal band. He has recorded nearly 20 albums, commissioned or premiered over 200 concertos and new chamber works, and created both ensembles and a music festival.

As a teacher, Anderle describes himself as someone who likes to understand how things work and believes one of the best ways to understand something is to explain it to someone else. He also believes curiosity is incredibly important for both the teacher and the student.

His interests as a performer push the boundaries of classical music, both to expand what is possible on the clarinet and to invite new listeners to classical music. He said that sometimes means exploring new sounds and techniques on his instrument, and sometimes it involves creating bridges between classical and popular music.

“I am dedicated to both performing masterworks at the highest level and discovering new repertoire,” Anderle said. “I believe in the power of classical music as an emotional vehicle for audiences of all types.”

He is a member of the bass clarinet duo Sqwonk, which infuses aspects of classical, folk and popular music into its own distinct style; Splinter Reeds, a reed quintet dedicated to new, innovative music; and the virtuosic heavy metal bass clarinet quartet Edmund Welles.

Anderle is also a clarinetist in the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and principal bass clarinet of the Monterey Symphony. He performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony and Magik*Magik Orchestra, as well as with such chamber music ensembles as the Telegraph Quartet, Friction Quartet and Left Coast Chamber Ensemble.

As a soloist, Anderle has performed concertos with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, One Found Sound, La Jolla Symphony, Minnesota Philharmonic and the wind octet Nomad Session. He has been featured nationally at concert series and festivals including the Kronos Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon, Omaha Under the Radar and the Festival of New American Music, as well as numerous national and international appearances at ClarinetFest, the annual conference of the International Clarinet Association.

An advocate for contemporary music, he was a founding co-director of Switchboard Music Festival, a presenting organization that featured hundreds of innovative musicians through its annual marathon and concert series during its 10-year history.

His recent project on TikTok includes posting his bass clarinet experiments, ultra-low PVC bass clarinets and extreme covers of pop/video game music. 

“I plan to bring the breadth of my experience as an educator and performer to ASU and contribute to the innovative work already happening here,” Anderle said. “I am interested in helping students avoid some of the problems and challenges I have faced so they can approach their playing with efficiency and ease. But most importantly, I am passionate about helping students find a career path that matches both their interests and their aptitudes, and exploring the wide range of possibilities available to music graduates.”

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