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Richard Nunemaker Retires From
Houston Symphony Orchestra
After serving forty-one years as a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra Richard Nunemaker will retire August 1, 2008. Andre Previn hired Nunemaker in 1967 as a clarinetist, bass clarinetist and saxophonist. He has had a varied and prolific career as a symphony musician, concert soloist, recording artist, producer, educator and author.
Richard will continue to pursue his first love — commissioning and performing new music for clarinet and saxophone. He will also continue teaching at the University of St. Thomas and keep an active private studio. Richard plans to fill out his remaining free time performing as a freelance musician in the greater Houston area.
During Nunemaker’s tenure with the Houston Symphony he gave many Houston Symphony premieres on subscription and non-subscription concerts such as: the Ingolf Dahl Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra and the Heitor Villa-Lobos, Fantasia for Saxophone and Orchestra Lawrence Foster, conductor, the Pierre Max Dubois Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, Jorge Mester, conductor and the Alexander Glazunov Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, Sergiu Commisiona, conductor. He also performed the Jacques Ibert, Concertino da Camera for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra and the Aaron Copland Clarinet Concerto, Toshiyuki Shimada, conductor. Nunemaker was featured in the Houston Symphony Sounds Like Fun series for two seasons performing his and Robert Nelson’s arrangement of Amazing Grace for Soprano Voice, Clarinet and Orchestra. He was also featured many times with Newton Wayland and the Houston Symphony on the Symphony Pops series and on the New Year’s Eve Gala concerts. Nunemaker was the featured soloist with Wayland and the Houston Symphony Orchestra in three Fourth of July live television broadcasts and two CD recordings: Stompin’ at The Savoy and America Swings on the Pro Arte label performing arrangements he commissioned featuring the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto, and Tributes to Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman.
Richard was a founding member of Airmail Special, a quartet of Houston musicians that performed original material for student and family concerts in the Houston area. During its 16-year tenure, Airmail Special presented 350 live performances in the Greater Houston area schools for approximately 70,000 children.
“ It has been a thrill to be a member of such a great orchestra and to be a part of what I consider to be one of the premiere clarinet and wind sections in the United States today.”
“ I take pride in having been a participant in the building of this wonderful Houston Symphony Orchestra from the late 1960’s with Andre Previn to the late 1990’s with Christoph Eschenbach. Indeed, those were exciting and exhilarating years.”