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Esther Lamneck

Music Professor of Music and Music Education

Music and Performing Arts Professions


Esther Lamneck, Clarinet and Tárogató

The New York Times calls Esther Lamneck “an astonishing virtuoso.” Winner of the prestigious Pro Musicis Award, she has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras, with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, and with renowned chamber music artists and music improvisors throughout the world. A versatile performer and an advocate of contemporary music, she is known for her work with electronic media including interactive arts, movement, dance, and improvisation.

Ms. Lamneck makes frequent solo appearances at music festivals worldwide and maintains an active solo career performing and presenting Master Classes in Universities and Conservatories throughout the United States, Europe, and Mexico. An artist who is sought after by the leading composers of our times, her collaborations have led to hundreds of new compositions in many genres including works for the clarinet, tárogató, and the new music ensembles she directs.

Esther Lamneck is known for her performances on the Hungarian Tárogató, a single reed woodwind instrument with a hauntingly beautiful sound. The instrument's aural tradition has led her to perform it almost exclusively in new music improvisation settings. She is recognized for her collaborative work with composers on both the clarinet and the tárogató in creating electronic music environments for improvisation.

Dr. Lamneck received her BM, MM, and Doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School of Music where she was a clarinet student of Stanley Drucker. Other teachers have included Robert Listokin and, briefly, Rudolf Jettel. She currently serves as Program Director of Woodwind Studies and the Clarinet Studio at New York University. She is artistic director of the NYU New Music and Dance Ensemble, an improvising flexible group which works in electronic settings using both fixed media and real time sound and video processing. Ms. Lamneck has worked together with choreographer Douglas Dunn for many years creating multimedia productions for festivals in the US and Italy.

Ms. Lamneck has performed in several projects for the flute and clarinet in diverse settings. Phenomenon of Threeson INNOVA makes a significant contribution to the acoustic repertoire for flute, clarinet, and piano. The Tornado Project has commissioned works for flute, clarinet, and computer in interactive real time computer music settings with a CD release on Parma records.

Ms. Lamneck is involved in performances, masterclasses, and the creation of new works with colleagues from around the world. An internationally renowned recording artist, she has received rave reviews for her recordings and has releases on Bridge Records, Capstone, Centaur, Cero records, CRI, EMF, INNOVA, Music and Arts, Opus One, SEAMUS, Skydeckmusic, Romeo/Qualiton, New World Records, and Parma.

Selected Reviews


PopMatters, 2018: "In the hands of traditional folk musicians its a perfectly serviceable, charming instrument; in the hands of Esther Lamneck, however, it's an entirely different creation." - Andy Jurik

ICON, 2018: "Eerie, haunting, dreamlike, at times nightmarish—and highly recommended." - Mark Keresman

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, 2018: "Tárogató Constructions offers the fruits of Lamneck’s sustained collaborations with composers who have invented responsive sonic environments in which she may improvise. Each of these 'musical worlds' showcases both Lamneck’s command of the tárogató and its composer’s command of live DSP, and there’s much to envy." - Colin Holter

Duo for clarinet and piano (from THE CHAMBER WORKS OF ALLEN BRINGS), Parma Records

The Clarinet (online), March 2018: “Lamneck has an exceedingly expressive approach to the clarinet and her color palette is limitless. She easily navigates the technical challenges in the work and never loses sight of the musical intention.”

TORNADO PROJECT: Trios for flute, clarinet and computer, Parma Records

The Clarinet magazine, September 2016: “The performances of Lamneck and McNutt are truly world class. They each have a unique, attractive sonority with an incredibly diverse palette of tone color. Their mastery of the full gamut of extended techniques is astounding, including improvisation with these techniques.”

Computer Music Journal, Vol. 40, 2016: “Elizabeth McNutt and Esther Lamneck have put together some masterful and creative performances here, which is to be expected from instrumentalists of their world-class caliber.”


Chamber Musician Today, 2011: “This fascinating CD was recorded in Arezzo Italy...EL and RF are both master performers who are playing more exotic instruments here.... highly recommended.”

Gapplegate, 2011: “Not everything musically is what you expect. So sometimes you come to expect the unexpected. And in the case of Winds of the Heart you most certainly get it. Those taking the time to adjust to it will find alternatingly exhilarating and meditative moments to savor in this unusual offering.”

Supermizz,i: “..cio che conta E l’emozione che la musica riesce a dare e c’e da dire che l’incontro e stato senz’altro foriero di buoni frutti. Il suono davvero paricolare di entrambi gli strumentim riesce nell’intento di creare una dimensione assai suggestive. ..sempre evocative.”
[“ ..what is important is the emotion that this music transmits and to say the least this encounter was abundantly fruitful. The very particular sound of both of these instruments manages to create a sound dimension incredibly suggestive and always evocative.”]


American Record Guide, 2009: “The musicians deserve high praise. They play with an ideal blend of passion and precision - just what this music needs. Every aspect of their musicianship - especially their intonation, tone, rhythm, and ensemble balance - is of the highest caliber. I hope we see some of this music on concert programs, and I look forward to hearing more from this outstanding trio.”

The Clarinet magazine, 2010: “This compact disc is a significant contribution to the world of clarinet music. The performances of all three members of this ensemble are impressive and highly artistic, and it is hoped that they will continue to expand the repertoire of this neglected ensemble.”

Sequenza 21, 2009: “The performances on this disc are first rate. The ensemble has a wonderful sense of blend and a smooth rich sound overall. The cohesiveness in their playing makes every piece shine, shimmer and sparkle regardless of compositional language. I can’t wait to hear more from them.”


The Electronic Musician, 2009: “an outstanding collection of new works for clarinet and electronics, featuring Lamneck’s fiery interpretations and dynamic subtleties.”

Computer Music Journal, 2010: “one of the most important aspects of this CD is the performer’s role as co-creator of these works. Ms Lamneck’s ability to play the role of virtuoso performer and also to be playful through improvisation is obviously central ...all the works are technically demanding in the extreme. They exploit every sound possibility of the instrument and pay tribute to Ms Lamneck’s mastery of it.”


Woodwind Studies

Build on your existing woodwind skills through private lessons, seminars, master classes, and numerous performance opportunities all over New York City.