Instrumentalist - Clarinet
Acclaim
 
Clarinetist Fiterstein sparks opening event in UC Presents’ WW I festival

“Great musicians can easily put the lie to the idea that music of the Second Viennese School is cold, ascetic or forbidding. Such was surely the case with Friday’s performance of Alban Berg’s Four Pieces, Op. 5, by clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein and Weiss. Totaling less then eight minutes, these four microbial movements explore a staggering expressive range in tightly compacted form. Fiterstein brought a robust tone and acute sensitivity to this music. He hurdled all the tortuous technical challenges without breaking a sweat, mining a 12-tone blues quality out of the 'Sehr langsam' movement, and plumbing a fine array of dynamic and expressive nuance throughout.”

Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
SPCO's woodwinds offer a rewarding Dvorak finale

“One piece had a sound all its own: the concert-opening G-minor Quintet by Sergei Prokofiev, a work for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola and bass that the composer created under the influence of the 1920s Parisian avant-garde. Four SPCO musicians and guest clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein made the work a haunting journey, one with an intermittently dissonant dream-like quality that sometimes slipped into the realm of nightmare. It took on a klezmer feel when Fiterstein and violinist Steven Copes traded dance-like lines, but was at its most engaging when Prokofiev sounded as if he were paving the path for modern jazz.”

Rob Hubbard, Saint Paul Pioneer Press
Bargemusic sets sail with music for clarinet and piano

"Fiterstein and Brown’s expertly wrought dynamics in the lyrical Grazioso that opens the work helped give clarity to Bernstein’s Hindemith-indebted logic. Likewise, the second movement Andantino benefited greatly from Fiterstein’s sumptuous low register...

"Be it their strictly matched figures in the impassioned Allegro, Fiterstein’s virtuosic breath control in the dying bar of the Andante or their perfectly paced Allegretto waltz, all together, it was the high point of their program.

Logan K. Young, New York Classical Review

"The score showcased Fiterstein’s tonal control — coolly smooth and polished in all registers....

“[Fiterstein’s] cultivation of the instrument’s capacity for understated eloquence remained paramount.”

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Matthew Guerrieri, Boston Globe
Bartók, Poulenc, Stravinsky, and Debussy - Celebrity Series (Boston)

“But the high point of this performance was the slow middle movement [Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano], a tender dialogue between two players richly gifted in expressive timing, tone color, and rubato. Even in the most testing situations, playing softly near the top of his instrument’s range, Fiterstein phrased exquisitely.”

David Wright, Boston Classical Review

“Fiterstein was clearly comfortable with this ‘other set of contrasts,’ allowing his part to unfold almost as if it were an improvised monologue against the moody textures established by [pianist Marc-André] Hamelin’s accompaniment.”

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Stephen Smoliar, San Francisco Classical Music Examiner
S.F. Performances last-minute trio sub finds chic symmetry

“Alexander Fiterstein [is] a quietly virtuosic young player who flew into town the night before and took his part in a demanding program with the calm aplomb of a seasoned veteran. If there were any wrinkles introduced by this sudden shift in the lineup, they were nowhere in evidence.”

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Saved by the Fiterstein

"Nothing about Monday night’s concert would have suggested that Fiterstein was a last-minute substitute and that the three musicians had never before performed together, in this combination ... their ensemble playing transcended the expected level of professionalism and shot straight into musical camaraderie.

"Hamelin, Marwood, and Fiterstein reached the pinnacle of their combined musicianship in the two trios.

"With its many changes in shade and direction, its twisting melodic lines, and the amazing level of musical and technical skill on the part of the players, this was the symbolic sublimation of the entire performance."

Niels Swinkels, San Francisco Classical Voice
The Faces May Be Familiar, but the Sounds Are Original

“There was fine playing by Mr. Fiterstein and by the string players … violinists Ani Kavafian and Arnaud Sussmann.”

Corinna Da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times
Schubert's Octet @ CMS
"Alexander Fiterstein’s … prodigious talents as a clarinetist were very much an illuminating factor in this evening’s performance. In the Menuetto, Alexander and violinist Erin Keefe engaged in a courtly dialogue, and earlier in the Adagio it is the clarinet which first ‘sings’ the lovely melody."
Philip Gardner, Oberon's Grove
"Fiterstein and company provide plenty of drama and weight when required to -- especially in the second concerto. On the whole, appealing and inviting performances of these familiar works." Read More...
Ralph Graves, WTJU Classical
Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio offers refined and varied artistry
“Debussy’s First Rhapsody for clarinet and piano provided an ideal showcase for the refined and sensitive clarinet of Fiterstein. The wide tonal range of the piece as well as its playfulness were richly captured in an idiomatic performance.”
Gerald Fisher, Chicago Classical Review
10 Best New Orleans Orchestral and Chamber Performances of 2013
“Birdfoot Festival had already wowed audiences at the Little Gem Saloon with chamber works by György Kurtág and Fauré before presenting the centerpiece of the festival and finest classical performance of the year: Olivier Messiaen’s 'Quartet for the End of Time.' Featuring former New Orleans resident and piano virtuoso Danny Driver and showcasing clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, the quartet’s interpretation of the masterwork had an obvious affect on audiences. Rarely have classical listeners been seen more quiet and attentive, and their reactions ran the gamut from teary-eyed to solemn to blissful. The performance generated one of the longest-running standing ovations of the year, and it continues to be one of the most talked about Birdfoot pieces of 2013.”
Joe Shriner, Nola Defender
Von WEBER: Clarinet Concerto No.1 in F minor; Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E flat major; Concertino for Clarinet and Orch.
“This is a great performance all around and most certainly deserves to be in the mix when young clarinetists are searching for a performance to emulate!”
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition
“Alexander Fiterstein is sympathetic to their nature [the Concertino and two concertos], their contrast of Romantic melancholy, and no less Romantic propensity for show. He plays the Romance of the Second Concerto beautifully, without affectation, and is undaunted by the dazzling applause music with which the work ends – indeed, he almost makes it sound easy, which it is not, when part of its point is the sense of the hero-virtuoso triumphing over fearful difficulties. He respects Weber’s request for the finale of the First Concerto to be played Allegretto, where many a clarinetist cannot resist going at it full tilt. He is also sensitive to the contrasts that hold together the charming Concertino.”
John Warrack, International Record Review
"Fiterstein’s control of the clarinet was complete. Whether playing full, robust passages or the softest imaginable tones, he delivered a sensitive and precise interpretation. It was a truly exciting performance of a brilliant composition. And his encore of a couple of klezmer tunes was icing on the cake." Read More...
Jon W. Sparks, Go Memphis
SEAN HICKEY - 'Concertos'
“Soloist Alexander Fiterstein is one of the country’s best players and performs with great tone and fluid technique.”
Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition
Birdfoot Festival crowns a week of New Orleans concerts with a glorious gala
"Alexander Fiterstein set an astoundingly high standard in Mozart’s 'Clarinet Quintet in A Major,' unscrolling liquid, vocal lines over the springy elastic support of a quartet of strings."
Chris Waddington, New Orleans Times-Picayune
"Thankfully, the Alexander Fiterstein Trio made it through the blowing snow and bad roads in time for us to hear an absolutely sublime concert: three slim youngish gentlemen in dark suits and ties, emerging from the curtains in a relaxed yet ready state for performance of some of the world's most entrancing music.... It was a pleasure to hear pure playing, with no histrionics or campy effects. The artistry and complete technical competence from each of these friends, informed us that either one of them could have been the head of the trio." Read More...
Jan Ann Peterson, Murray County News
Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein concertizes the Midwest
“And when Alexander Fiterstein came out and took over the stage for the complex, witty and thoroughly virtuosic Nielsen, I was floored. Who is this talent? And how is he able to make music and seemingly tell a story all at once? Yes, it’s fair to say, I was blown away.”
Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
The Big Music Machine at its Best
"Mr. Fiterstein fairly stunned the audience with the ability to play the thousands of notes required with amazing musicality and unblemished memory."
David Lowry, Columbia Free Times (SC)
Performance under pressure
"Alexander Fiterstein, who teaches clarinet at the University of Minnesota, proved a mercurial and sure-footed soloist, fully equal to Nielsen's virtuosic and histrionic demands. Willing to make unbeautiful sounds when the composer calls for them, Fiterstein (who more than holds his own in a city of superb clarinetists) was especially effective in introspective passages."
Larry Fuchsberg, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Classical music review: SPCO plays on -- and brings the crowd to its feet
"Between them was the Clarinet Concerto of Dausgaard's countryman, Carl Nielsen, which proved a fabulous forum for the skills of soloist Alexander Fiterstein. It's a piece that hopscotches between frolicking folk-dance-flavored themes, musical arguments of soloist and snare drum and some soft and mellifluous cadenzas in the low end of the clarinet, all expertly executed by Fiterstein."
Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Yedidia's WORLD DANCE - CD Review (Naxos Classics)

“The clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein appears to be capable of anything a composer could possibly ask. His sound can be warm or penetrating, he travels the instrument’s range with nimble assurance and he has an exceptional command of dynamic extremes, especially when the clarinet performs a disappearing act. Fiterstein puts his multi-faceted artistry to splendid use in this programme of music by Israeli-born composer Ronn Yedidia.”

Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone
"The more straightforwardly classical 'Concertino' for clarinet, piano and strings is more serious, with an extraordinary cadenza that shows Fiterstein at the top of his game." Read More...
Tom Huizenga, NPR Music
Fiterstein, De Rosa and Wosner team up for memorable chamber evening
"Encompassing both the soft melodic lines and wide leaps of these instrumental songs, Fiterstein exhibited commanding dexterity and sensitivity to the music's volatile emotions."
Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review
Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio delivers colorful program at Second Pres
"Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein's silken tone and charming way of shaping a phrase proved particularly rewarding. The brooding beauty of the Brahms trio gave Fiterstein and cellist Amit Peled ample opportunity to spin out songful phrases, which they did to exquisite effect."
Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun
The Top 10 Performances of 2011
"... the result was an offbeat concert in May that included ... clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein who brought agility, a rounded tone and graceful phrasing to Brahms' clarinet sonatas."
David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review
In the hands of this musician, the clarinet was rarely treated in formal fashion; rather, Fiterstein ably seduced the warmest possible sounds from an instrument which could have been mistaken for friend or even dance partner. Read More...
William Kerns, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Pianist Noda assembles an offbeat but superb trio for Friends of Chamber Music
"Fiterstein's clarinet playing was a highlight of the concert, as he spun out the melodies of Brahms' two late sonatas for clarinet and piano. His tone was full and rounded from upper to lower register, and he handled rapid passages with an easy unwavering agility as he shaped every phrase. Particularly fine was his ardent playing of the melodies of the first movement of the Sonata No. 2, warm and lyric without letting the melodies lose shape or the musical narrative lose momentum."
David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review
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