Winner of both the Avery Fisher Career Grant (1987) and the Avery Fisher Prize (2000), David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator.
Mr. Shifrin has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and the Dallas, Seattle, Houston, Milwaukee, Detroit, Fort Worth, Hawaii and Phoenix Symphonies, among many others in the United States, as well as with orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan.
He has also received critical acclaim as a recitalist, appearing at such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie’s Hall’s Zankel Hall and the 92nd Street Y in New York City, as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
A much sought after chamber musician, he has collaborated frequently with such distinguished ensembles and artists as the Guarneri, Tokyo, Emerson, Orion, Dover and Miró String Quartets, as well as Wynton Marsalis, André Watts, Emanuel Ax and André Previn.
An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, Mr. Shifrin served as its Artistic Director from 1992 to 2004. He has toured extensively throughout the United States with CMSLC and hosted and performed in several national television broadcasts on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center. He also served as Artistic Director of Portland’s Chamber Music Northwest from 1981 through 2020, and is currently Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chamber Music Festival.
In addition, Mr. Shifrin has served as Principal Clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra (under the direction of Stokowski), the Honolulu and Dallas Symphonies, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Shifrin joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music in 1987 and was appointed Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Yale and Yale’s annual concert series at Carnegie Hall in September 2008. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Hawaii. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary professorship at China’s Central Conservatory in Beijing.
Mr. Shifrin’s recordings on Delos, DGG, Angel/EMI, Arabesque, BMG, SONY and CRI have consistently garnered praise and awards. He has received three Grammy nominations and his recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, performed in its original version on a specially built elongated clarinet, was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review. His recordings of the Copland Clarinet Concerto and Leonard Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata have been released on iTunes via Angel/EMI and Deutsche Grammophon. His most recent recordings include the Trios with cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han on the ArtistLed label, a recording for Delos of works by Carl Nielsen, and new recordings of clarinet quintets by Peter Schickele, Richard Danielpour, Aaron Jay Kernis, Valerie Coleman, Chris Rogerson and Duke Ellington (arr. Schiff).
Mr. Shifrin has been instrumental in broadening the repertoire for clarinet by commissioning and championing the works of 20th- and 21st-century American composers, including John Adams, Joan Tower, Stephen Albert, Bruce Adolphe, Ezra Laderman, Lalo Schifrin, David Schiff, John Corigliano, Bright Sheng, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Alvin Singleton, Hannah Lash, Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Valerie Coleman, Richard Danielpour and Peter Schickele.
In addition to the Avery Fisher Prize and Career Grant, Mr. Shifrin was the recipient of a Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2016 Concert Artists Guild Virtuoso Award. He was given an Honorary Membership by the International Clarinet Association in 2014 in recognition of lifetime achievement, and at the outset of his career he won the top prizes at both the Munich and the Geneva International Competitions.
In recent years he received the Distinguished Alumni Awards from the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Music Academy of the West, and a Cultural Leadership Citation from Yale University. He was recognized with the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award at the 2018 Chamber Music America Conference for historic service to the small ensemble music field, and in 2019 he was awarded the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music.
Mr. Shifrin performs on a Backun “Lumière” clarinet made by Morrie Backun and Légère premium synthetic reeds. He is represented by CM Artists New York.