Clarinet faculty Oskar Espina Ruiz has been described by the press as a “masterful soloist” and a “highly expressive” clarinetist who “brings forth the notes with an energy that reaches down to one's soul.” During the past nine years Espina Ruiz has performed at major concert halls and festivals to high critical acclaim, including concerto performances at the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia and recitals at Carnegie's Weill Hall in New York, the Corcoran Museum in Washington D.C., the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Oji Hall in Tokyo, the Madrid Royal Superior Conservatory, the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories and Radio Television Hong Kong.
Oskar Espina Ruiz is an unusually gifted musician who has already made a mark in the musical world and is becoming one of the most distinguished clarinetists in the U.S.Charles Neidich
- UNCSA Clarinet Faculty since 2011
- Former clarinet faculty at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, in San Juan, PR, 2009-2011
- Artistic director of the Treetops Chamber Music Society, in Stamford, CT, since 2006
- Major teachers include Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima and flutist Aurèle Nicolet
- Recorded for the Bridge, Kobaltone and Prion labels, receiving high critical acclaim by fellow clarinetists Richard Stoltzman and Charles Neidich for his solo recording “Julián Menéndez Rediscovered”
- Appeared as soloist with the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony in Russia, St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in Russia, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Ciudad de Asunción in Paraguay and Bilbao Symphony in Spain
- Chamber music collaborations include the Shanghai, Escher and Calla quartets, the Quintet of the Americas, pianist Anthony Newman, cellist David Geber (founder, American String Quartet) and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra artists
- Featured as soloist at the 20th Tokyo Summer Festival, the European Mozart Academy (performing throughout European capitals), the St. Petersburg Palaces XIII International Music Festival in Russia and the VI Festival Internacional de Música Clásica Contemporánea de Lima in Peru
- In an effort to bring important works and revisions into the clarinet repertoire, in 2003 Espina Ruiz performed the South American premiere of the original Copland Clarinet Concerto, reconstructed from the manuscripts at the Library of Congress and his orchestrations and adaptations include Ravel's "Sonate Posthume," works by Arriaga, Sarasate, Turina, Granados and Falla and Menéndez's "Clarinet Concerto No. 2"
- Deeply involved with the music of our time and has premiered works written for him by Chinese composers Ao, Hu and Chen, Spanish composers Bageneta and Villasol, French composer Gaigne and American composers Weymouth and Spinei
- Often performed with the Bilbao Symphony, as its youngest member at age 16
Awards, Recognitions & Honors
- Won the top clarinet prizes at the Olga Koussevitzky and Artists International competitions
- First prize of the International Clarinet Association Research Competition based on his work on Spanish Post-Romantic composer Julián Menéndez in 2006. Espina Ruiz later wrote an article for the March 2007 issue of The Clarinet magazine, which led to the acquisition of one of Menéndez's clarinets by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for its Musical Instruments Galleries.