Through his performances, compositions, and master classes at more than 130 conservatories and universities around the world, clarinetist and composer Eric Mandat has had a profound influence on the way an entire generation of clarinetists approaches playing their instrument.
The Chicago Reader states, “Mandat is exploring new worlds…with a unique combination of virtuosity and a creative use of multiphonics...he uses them to create highly personal and expressive compositions that...are loaded with musical meaning.” Kyle Gann of The Village Voice notes the “suave physicality” of his presence as a performer, and finds his style to be “riveting.”
Eric Mandat tours world-wide as a soloist, presenting lectures and recitals featuring new American clarinet music as well as traditional repertoire. He has premiered and performed his works at international festivals in Chicago, Stockholm, Tokyo, Vancouver, Porto, Los Angeles, and Madrid, and he has appeared as soloist with the Latvian National Chamber Orchestra, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony.
A member of the Chicago Symphony's MusicNOW ensemble for 15 seasons, Eric has worked with such distinguished composer/conductors as Pierre Boulez and Esa-Pekka Salonen. For nearly 30 years he was a member of Tone Road Ramblers, an eclectic sextet specializing in improvisation and experimental music. The Ramblers present residencies and performances at universities and new music festivals nationwide, and have performed at Merkin Hall and Roulette Intermedium in New York. Their CD, Intersections & Detours, is described by Option magazine as “filled with wit, joy and creative sparkle.” Their latest CD, Dancing With the Ramblers features Mandat’s Dark Energy, together with extended works by fellow Ramblers Morgan Powell and John Fonville.
As a composer, Eric’s work focuses primarily on solo and chamber pieces for clarinet, exploring the inner galaxies of multiphonics, microtones, and subtle timbral transformations. The Clarinet finds that his “process at writing and playing is bound to leave any listener in awe… (One) is constantly challenged and surprised by gorgeous tone color changes, exciting rhythmic action and 21st century clarinetistry,” and “Mandat provides tremendous musical interest with his impressive display of tonal colors, dynamic control…rhythmic variety and groove, and imaginative playing.” Mandat is a recipient of multiple Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Awards for composition, and his music is featured in concerts and recordings by clarinetists throughout the world.
Mandat received his education at the University of North Texas (B.M.), the Yale School of Music (M.M.), and the Eastman School of Music (D.M.A.). His principal teachers included Richard Joiner, Lee Gibson, Keith Wilson, Stanley Hasty, and Charles Neidich. He is Professor of Music and Distinguished Scholar at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, where in 1999 he was the recipient of the university’s highest honor for scholarly and creative work, the Outstanding Scholar Award. At SIUC, Mandat teaches clarinet and directs the free improvisation ensemble.
Eric Mandat is a Buffet Crampon USA performing artist and clinician.