Kathryn Pirtle is Clarinetist of the Orion Ensemble, founded in 1992, for which she is also Executive Director. Ms. Pirtle has served as principal clarinetist of the Lake Forest Symphony since 1990. Her other orchestral affiliations include the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony and Elgin Symphony.
In 2004, Hal Leonard Corporation released her solo album of selected Bach unaccompanied cello and violin suites and sonatas transcribed for the clarinet by Himie Voxman, the first recording of these transcriptions.
Ms. Pirtle has taught privately since 1980. She gives masterclasses on clarinet pedagogy and chamber music literature, as well as non-profit chamber music organizational development. She has served on the faculties of Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, Northern Illinois University, Bradley University, Indiana University, and New Trier High School. She currently teaches and coaches chamber music from her home studio and at Hinsdale South High School.
Ms. Pirtle’s writing has been published in International Musician, International Clarinet, The Autism File Global, Advance Magazine (a publication for Physical Therapy) and Wise Traditions, she has written two books on nutrition, and she writes a blog at her website, www.performancewithoutpain.com, about issues relating to building health with nutrient-dense foods.
"The MoBa Super Series Cocobolo clarinets are the most spectacular clarinets I have ever played. Their beautiful sound and incredible craftsmanship are unmatched. In addition, the Backun mouthpieces I play are an incredible partner to these instruments. Since performing chamber and orchestral concerts on them, I continue to receive compliments from patrons and colleagues about them. With Backun, the future for clarinet is brighter than ever!"
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