Clarinetist Joseph Morris Named Winner of 2017 Ima Hogg Competition

Clarinetist Joseph Morris Named Winner of 2017 Ima Hogg Competition

The Houston Symphony announces clarinetist Joseph Morris as the winner of the 42nd annual Ima Hogg Competition, one of a few annual nationwide multi-instrument competitions. The announcement was made in front of a live audience on Saturday, June 3, after the finals concert at Rice University's Stude Concert Hall.

A partnership between the Houston Symphony League and the Houston Symphony, the prestigious competition identifies and supports outstanding young instrumentalists and their pursuit of careers in music. Chaired by Barbara McCelvey, this year's Ima Hogg competition attracted nearly 80 candidates ranging from ten instruments and a wide variety of nationalities.

The Grace Woodson Memorial Award was presented to Morris by John and Tracy Dennis in memory of John Dennis' grandmother, a close friend of Miss Ima Hogg. A 2012 graduate of USC's Thornton School of Music, Morris took home a cash prize of $25,000 and a gold medal, in addition to earning a solo appearance with Houston Symphony at the Donor and Subscriber Appreciation Concert on Wednesday, July 12th, at Jones Hall.

Morris will also participate in a week-long Education and Community Engagement Residency that will provide him with essential training relevant to his field. Morris was recently appointed as principal clarinetist of the Pacific Symphony and has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra.

The evening began with each of the four finalists performing a concerto alongside the Houston Symphony led by guest conductor and music director of the Wichita Symphony Daniel Hege. The results of the competition were determined by a distinguished three-judge panel comprised of music director of the Phoenix Symphony Tito Muñóz; internationally acclaimed concert pianist Andrew von Oeyen; and Vice President and Manager of Artists and Attractions for Opus 3 Artists, Matthew Oberstein.

The competition was supported by lead corporate sponsor Wells Fargo Bank; United Airlines, the official airline of the Houston Symphony; Spec's Wines Spirits and Finer Foods; The Lancaster Hotel; Houston Methodist's Center for Performing Arts Medicine; and the host families who welcomed the contestants to Houston. The evening's concert was broadcast on News 88-7 and Houston Public Media Classical.


First Prize, The Grace Woodson Memorial Award:

Joseph Morris, clarinet

$25,000 and solo performance with the Houston Symphony at the Donor and Subscriber Appreciation Concert at 7:30 p.m. July 12, 2017

Second Prize, The Houston Symphony League Award:

Rainer Crosett, cello

$10,000 and solo performance with the Houston Symphony at Miller Outdoor Theatre at 8:30 p.m. July 1, 2017

Third Prize, The Selma Neumann Memorial Award

I-Jung Huang, violin


Fourth Prize, The Jean Whitbread Kucera Award

Alan Woo, piano


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