(RE)PHRASING: Shaping Music With Modern Instruments

(RE)PHRASING: Shaping Music With Modern Instruments

Conférence et Masterclass avec le clarinettiste Christian Stene

Vendredi, le 07 juin et Samedi le 8 juin  


en collaboration avec la  Luxembourg Clarinet Association


Remettre le flyer ou renvoyer votre inscription à simweber@vdl.lu jusqu’au 25 mai 2024.




Vendredi, le 07 juin 2024: 9h30-12h30      Salle: Studio

La participation à cette conférence peut être reconnue comme formation continue pour enseignants.



Vendredi, le 07 juin 2024: 15h00-18h00    Salle:C06

Samedi, le 08 juin 2024: 9h30-13h30          Salle:E14




This project aims to demonstrate how the affordances of modern musical instruments can influence phrasing. My goal is to expand on our understanding of these affordances and how this affects the way we express musical ideas.

Phrasing is how a musician shapes music. Phrasing is the performer’s musical language and is strongly linked to how well one masters one’s instrument and can communicate musical ideas and interpretations. Instrumentalists have seen technical developments and innovations over hundreds of years, leading to the instruments we use today. Modern orchestral instruments are often very different from their historical predecessors with the development generally being in the direction of more evenness through the registers, larger volume, and projection . The methodology of playing is also highly focused on evening out the idiosyncrasies of the instrument to make all notes through the registers have the same shape. But what happens when everything sounds the same? Has phrasing become a victim of evenness?

This project uses a period boxwood instrument, modern boxwood instruments, modern mopane instruments, and modern grenadilla instruments (which are the norm today) as tools for research on phrasing. By switching tools between these instruments, I have identified and related various techniques to establish how the affordances of the different instruments can influence phrasing.

Research questions:

1. What is the relationship between phrasing on a period instrument and a modern instrument?

2. How can phrasing from a period instrument be transferred to a modern instrument?

3. What is the future of phrasing on a modern instrument?


Christian Stene is the Associate Professor of clarinet and Ph.D. Artistic Research Fellow at The Grieg Academy – Department of Music at the University of Bergen, Norway. He is also the National Chairperson (Norway) for the International Clarinet Association (ICA) and a Buffet Crampon and Vandoren performing artist. Christian was the principal clarinetist of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra from 2010 to 2022 and the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra from 2007 to 2010.

A native of Bergen, Christian began playing the clarinet at age eleven. After preliminary studies at The Grieg Academy, he continued at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam to study with the former principal clarinetist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, George Pieterson. Christian then entered the Royal Danish Academy of Music where he completed his orchestral diploma studies with Lee Morgan, principal clarinetist of the Royal Danish Orchestra, in one year. He was further accepted into the soloist class at the Royal Danish Academy of Music as well as the concert class at the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel with François Benda. Christian made his debut in Copenhagen in 2007 with the highest mark obtainable. In the 2009/10 season, Christian took a sabbatical to study with Yehuda Gilad at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

In 1998 Christian won the Norwegian Soloist Championships which started a long line of solo appearances. He has been a soloist with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on several occasions, the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the University of Oslo Symphony Orchestra, the Agder Chamber Orchestra, the ARCO Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Danish Academy of Music Orchestra, and the Nordic Youth Orchestra. Christian is the recipient of the Betty and Valdemar van Hauens Music Endowment, the Léonie Sonning’s Talent Prize, Aennchen and Eigil Harbys Fund, Ingerid, Synnøve, and Elias Fegersten’s Foundation, the Jacob. R. Olsen and Johanne G. Olsen’s Endowment, the Fund for Performing Artists, and the L. Meltzer’s Research Fund.

In addition to teaching the clarinet class at the Grieg Academy, Christian regularly gives masterclasses in Norway as well as in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Australia, and the U.S.A. He also coaches The Norwegian National Youth Orchestra and other regional youth orchestras.

Christian regularly appears as guest principal clarinet with various Scandinavian, European, Asian, and Australian orchestras, notably the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Christian can be heard on recordings playing solo (LAWO), chamber music (Classico and LAWO), and in orchestra with the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra (Naïve) and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Chandos, BIS, Hyperion, Ondine, Aurora, and LAWO).

For more information and sound examples please visit: www.christianstene.com