Why I Chose Backun
“After years of powering my way through phrasing to get the sought-after balance and tone, these clarinets are a welcome change. I enjoy playing them so much. My ensemble mates enjoy playing with me when I play them. I don’t have to spend extra energy fighting the instrument. Instead, I get to experience effortless expression and intonation, ease of projection, and versatility in timbre and color. They are just so wonderful to play.”
Lori Shepherd is an avid chamber musician, collaborator, and co-creator of the Ladies’ Reeding Society, a coalition of chamber music ensembles whose mission is to empower, lead, and create space for underrepresented voices in the chamber music genera. In her role as clarinetist and founder with this organization, Lori plays with several groups including Trio de Bois, Peregrine Rose Trio, and the Ladies’ Quintessential Quintet.
In the spring of 2020, Trio de Bois published a Call for Scores commission project requesting music for reed trio plus piano. The resulting response brought over 30 new works of repertoire, 12 of which were selected to be recorded and produced as multimedia video premieres. One of these newly composed works for the trio, Railroad Sunset by David Alexander-Barnes, enjoyed a world premiere at the 2021 Virtual Clarinetfest. The 2021-2022 season will see the completion of the project, adding several new works to the repertoire for reed trio by women and BIPOC composers through intentional programming and curation.
As co-creator, Ms. Shepherd plans to continue magnifying the span of LRS in collaborative projects that artistically explore contemporary issues and themes with a purposeful focus on those with experiences from historically marginalized backgrounds. Last season saw the performance and premiere of new music by composers Mary Watkins, Adrienne Albert, Sydney Guillaume, Alyssa Morris, Gay Kakohnen, Amy Dunker, and Juan Ruiz. This season Ms. Shepherd will appear as a featured performer on an album of works for clarinet and chamber music by composer Catherine Neville on the Polyphony label, launch the community and education engagement program extension of LRS, and continue her thriving teaching studio in Woodinville, Washington with her throng of aspiring musicians-for-life.
You can also often spot her on a nature walk through a forested mountain trail in the Pacific Northwest with her enthusiastic pup, Dougal, while sharing a musical debate with her trombonist husband, Ryan Shepherd.