Podcast: Sidney Forrest, clarinetist and teacher

From age 15-20, I studied with Sidney Forrest, who taught me pretty much everything about clarinet from middle school through two summers at the Interlochen School for the Arts, and 2 years at Peabody Conservatory.

Sidney Forrest, clarinetist and teacher

Sidney Forrest, Clarinetist & Teacher

After a relaxing lunch at his favorite Chinese restaurant in Kensington, MD, we had a nice chat on his living room couch. He was just getting warmed up telling his long lived stories when I had to stop. But I got a good half hour of history from his illustrious life as a musician.

Mr. Forrest is 91 and still teaches! Listen to the podcast for an explanation of the "Three I's". The podcast is at the end of this post. However, here is a music track of him playing the first movement of the Mozart Quintet K581. This recording was made in 1951, with the Galimir String Quartet.

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Sidney Forrest Bio: (B.A., University of Miami; M.A., Columbia University; additional study at The Julliard School), adjunct professor of clarinet. Professor emeritus, Peabody Conservatory, faculty of the Interlochen Arts Center since 1959, and former clarinet soloist with the United States Marine Band and principal clarinetist with the National Symphony Orchestra. Clarinet studies with Simeon Bellison, Alexander Williams, and Otto Conrad. Students in principal positions in major orchestras in the United States and abroad. Extensive experience as a recitalist, recording artist, editor and arranger of solo works for clarinet, and author of articles published in professional journals. Served as adjudicator on the National Fulbright Commission and for the Buffet North American competition and the Quebec Conservatoire.

This is my first podcast. So please forgive any glitches in the recording. Enjoy!

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8 comments for “Podcast: Sidney Forrest, clarinetist and teacher

  1. Robin Conrad Shapiro
    July 17, 2011 at

    I was doing a google search on my grandfather, Otto Conrad, and came across your site. What can you share with me about him? Was he one of your teachers?

  2. Eeric Straka
    June 19, 2010 at

    Hi David, You taught me clarinet in 8th grade (1979-80!!) and then introduced me to Sidney who taught me 9th- 12th grade. He also introduced me to Interlochen where I spent the 2 best summers of my life ('82-83). Thanks so much for doing this blog, it's great!
    Eric Straka

    • June 19, 2010 at

      Hi Eric. Wow. How cool is that? Do you still play? Thanks for getting in touch. Finding trails of good influence is very gratifying. I hope I was not a too bad a teacher for you. 🙂

      • eric straka
        June 29, 2010 at

        Hi David, you got me off to a great start ( really!) and most importantly introduced me to Sidney. I still play, but not enough. Our community puts on a musical every year–check out the website for "Burns Park Players'–this year we're doing "How to succeed in Business without really trying". Take care!

  3. May 19, 2010 at

    Thanks. Great to capture the memories of these fine musicians. I'm especially interested in those who trace their clarinet pedigree back to Simeon Bellison.

    • May 19, 2010 at

      Thanks for stopping by. It's true, there are few students of Bellison still alive. Sidney is one of the last.

  4. March 11, 2010 at

    This was interesting and informative. Thank you for both collecting this oral history and sharing it.

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