At the age of 73 bass clarinet player Harry Sparnaay passed away. Without Harry, Dutch contemporary music would have not been the same. As a soloist and in ensembles such as Het Trio, Fusion Moderne, Het Basklarinettenkollektief, the Asko Ensemble and orchestras he put his instrument and the new music in general on the map.
In 1972, Harry Sparnaay won the first prize at the Gaudeamus Interpreter Competition with his bass clarinet. He was a great champion of this instrument and was able to entice a countless number of composers, such as Luciano Berio, Morton Feldman, Ton de Leeuw and Iannis Xenakis, to write work especially for him and the bass clarinet. As a teacher, Sparnaay spent many years at the Amsterdam Conservatory, giving workshops all over the world and thus creating a whole new generation of bass clarinet players.
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