Sammy Lesnick is a clarinetist living in New York City, devoted to the performance of chamber music and contemporary music. A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music, his teachers include Kenneth Grant, Jon Manasse, Sean Osborn, and Kim Fay. Sammy was the winner of Eastman’s 2013 clarinet concerto competition, performing Magnus Lindberg’s concerto with the Eastman Philharmonia and conductor Brad Lubman. He was awarded first place clarinet at the Washington State solo competition in 2012 and in the same year won the Seattle Symphony Young Artist Competition, performing the final movement of Weber’s Concerto No. 2 with the orchestra and conductor Ludovic Morlot.
Sammy’s passion for new music has led to performances in St. Louis with Alarm Will Sound, in New York City with Ensemble Signal, and at many other venues around the country as well as in Italy, France, Spain, and Greece. He has worked with many well-known composers, including Rand Steiger, Chaya Czernowin, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and most recently with Steve Reich, performing his New York Counterpoint for clarinet solo at Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall with the composer present, with an additional performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Sammy is an enthusiastic chamber musician, having performed much of the wind quintet repertoire, in addition to many works with strings and piano. He also has experience as a composer, arranger, and concert producer. In all his musical activities, he hopes to escape the boundaries of formality and convention by approaching everything with a sense of adventure and spontaneity. To this end, he often uses improvisation, electronics, and performance art in his concerts.
Originally from Seattle, Sammy has had a life-long love for nature. When he’s not playing music, he’s usually out walking, biking, kayaking, and looking for funny animals.