Russell Harlow, a clarinetist, grew up in Los Angeles and lives in Utah. He is the co-director and Artist in Residence for the Park City Beethoven Festival and Autumn Classics Music Festival and ran both the Sonolumina Chamber Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Consortium of Utah. He also founded and directed the Nova Chamber Series in Utah before joining the Park City Music Festival in 1984.
Clarinetist Russell Harlow was born in Los Angeles. He studied first with clarinetist Gary Foster, then Mitchel Lurie, and at the age of twenty-one, joined the Utah Symphony where he served as Associate Principal Clarinet. After 41 years, Harlow quit the Utah Symphony to pursue his solo, chamber music and recording career. He also studied with Harold (Buddy) Wright, the late Principal Clarinet with the Boston Symphony, with Mitchell Lurie, Gary Foster and with violinist Charles Libove. During July 2007, Harlow performed at the International Clarfest in Vancouver, BC, has performed for ClarFests in Utah, and Texas, and at an international clarinet festival held in Puerto Rico.. He has also been invited to perform in 2020 at the ClarFest in Reno. In 1996 Russell Harlow was invited to perform in Holland for the Amsterdam Chamber Music Society where he performed the Glazunov “Oriental Reverie” on live television. The same month he performed the NYC premier of the Cortes Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano (a work written for him) at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Utah Valley University has named their annual clarinet competition the Russell Harlow Clarinet Competition in his honor.
Harlow has worked with clarinetist and mouthpiece expert Lee Livengood on the design of a new clarinet mouthpiece. He has also republished a volume of etudes for clarinet by Louis DeSantis. The etudes are paraphrasic- melodic studies on difficult solo passages from Thomas, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and Rimsky-Korsakoff. Harlow turned the work he had originally planned for an interactive DVD-Rom history of the clarinet into the website ClarinetCentral.com.
In 2015, Harlow, along with Lee Livengood, directed the annual Utah Clarinet Festival, held at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, where Harlow has served as interim clarinet professor for the year.
In addition to chamber music and orchestra performances and recordings, Harlow has recorded solos on a number of television and movie soundtracks.
He released a CD titled Works for Clarinets and Strings by Ingolf Dahl, Bohuslav Martinu and Karel Husa under the ISOMIKE label. As Associate Principal Clarinet with the Utah Symphony, Harlow is featured on nearly every recording the Symphony has made over the past thirty-nine years.
Hear a recording of Bagatelles by Gerald Finzi recorded live at the Beethoven Festival and recently posted on YouTube:
Click here to listen to Russell and pianist Doris Stevenson perform a Chopin Nocturne live at the Beethoven Festival.
Listen and purchase this fine recording of works by Martinu, Husa and Dahl featuring the Sonolumina Ensemble recording featuring clarinetist Russell Harlow, clarinetist Lee Livengood, violinist Dara Morales, violist Leslie Harlow and cellist Jesus Morales.