Richie Hawley ranks among the most distinguished clarinetists of his generation. As principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO), he impressed audiences around the world with his virtuosity and the velvety, sonorous tone that has become his trademark. The Cincinnati Enquirer has praised him for the “seamless flowing tone so many clarinetists long for and few can achieve.”
Mr. Hawley was appointed principal clarinet of the CSO in 1994 at age 23. He has since enjoyed a rewarding and multifaceted career as an orchestral clarinetist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, and clinician, making appearances throughout the United States and abroad. He participated in the Marlboro Music Festival in the summers of 1999 and 2000, and toured with the legendary Musicians from Marlboro for the festival’s 50th anniversary.
A highly sought-after teacher, Mr. Hawley was recently named professor of clarinet at Rice University Shepherd School of Music in Houston. He left the CSO as well as his position at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) as head of the clarinet studio at the end of the 2011 season.
As both a performer and educator, Mr. Hawley has been the recipient of several coveted awards. In 1988 his trio, Trio Con Brio, won first prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. That same year he was honored as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts in a White House ceremony. He has received the Léni Fé Bland Foundation Career Grant twice, and was awarded the 2009 Glover Award for outstanding teaching at CCM.
Originally from Los Angeles, Mr. Hawley began his clarinet studies with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School of Performing Arts at age 9. He made his orchestral solo debut at age 13 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and at age 14 performed with the New York Philharmonic.
A Buffet-Crampon artist, Mr. Hawley performs on the Tosca model of clarinet. He is also a Rico Performing Artist and Clinician, and plays exclusively on Reserve Classic reeds.
He has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 2005.