Pacific Symphony clarinetist wins Houston competition

Pacific Symphony principal clarinetist Joseph Morris has won the Houston Symphony’s 42nd annual Ima Hogg Competition, the orchestra announced over the weekend.

The competition, open to instrumentalist ages 16-26, is designed to support young musicians in the pursuit of their careers. It is named for one of the founders of the Houston Symphony.

Morris, 26, took home the Grace Woodson Memorial Award, the top prize, a gold medal and $25,000. His win also includes a solo performance with the Houston Symphony at its the Donor and Subscriber Appreciation Concert on July 12th.

During the competition he played selections from Mozart’s and Nielsen’s clarinet concertos. On Saturday he performed live with the Houston Symphony and guest conductor Daniel Hege. The judges included Phoenix Symphony music director Tito Muñóz, concert pianist Andrew von Oeyen; and Matthew Oberstein, vice president and manager of artists and attractions for Opus 3 Artists.

Morris joined Pacific Symphony as principal this season. He graduated from the USC Thornton School of Music (in 2012) and received a professional studies certificate from the Colburn Conservatory of Music (2014), where he studied with Yehuda Gilad.

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