The Concerto for Clarinet was composed in two versions—one for Orchestra and the other for Wind Symphony.
Of the Concerto, Frank Ticheli writes:
"I had wanted to compose a concerto for clarinet, and was delighted when a commission offer came my way from clarinetist, Håkan Rosengren. His fiery virtuosity, combined with his poignantly beautiful sound, had a direct influence on my creative decisions throughout the work."

"The concerto's three movements are composed as tributes to three 20th-century American icons: George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein. Although the first movement is book-ended by playful allusions of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and the finale contains just a whiff of the air surrounding Bernstein's West Side Story, there are no direct quotes anywhere, and my own personal style dominates all three movements. I composed my concerto as a tribute, not as an emulation.

"The first movement, Rhapsody for George, is built largely from chromatic, jazzy, relentless flurries of 16th-notes, volleyed back and forth between the soloist and ensemble. This high-speed game is intensified by a walking bass line, jazzy syncopations, and heavy backbeats that come and go at will.

"The second movement, Song for Aaron, evokes the gentle, open-aired quality sometimes heard in Copland's slow movements. If the listener notices a song-like quality here, it may be because it was in fact originally composed for voice (An American Dream, for soprano and orchestra, mvt. 6). Thus, this movement is an adaptation of my earlier work, but altered significantly to suit the unique lyrical traits of the clarinet.

"While composing the final movement, Riffs for Lenny, I imagined Bernstein perched on a pulpit (a podium?), passionately preaching about Music as a powerful and necessary force for humanity. In a sense, I pay tribute to his lifelong enthusiasm, unleashed through his conducting, composing, performing, teaching, and in countless other ways. Like the opening movement, Riffs for Lenny is somewhat jazzy, but now in a more, sultry, gospel-like manner. It swoons, sighs, seduces, and then suddenly takes off in double-time, dancing all the way."

The world premiere performance was given on April 17, 2010, with clarinetist Håkan Rosengren with the Lithuanian National Symphony in Vilnius, Juozas Domarkas conducting.

The U.S. premiere of Ticheli' Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, with clarinetist Håkan Rosengren, was presented on July 10, 2010 at Festival Hill in Round Top Texas with the Texas Festival Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta conducting.
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The Clarinet Concerto by Frank Ticheli is 21 minutes in length.

In its orchestral version, the instrumentation is: 3, 2, 2, 2 / 2, 2, 3, 1, 3 percussion, harp, piano and strings

The wind ensemble version uses string bass and piano, as well.
Frank Ticheli—biography

Frank Ticheli's music has been described as being "optimistic and thoughtful" (Los Angeles Times), "lean and muscular" (New York Times), "brilliantly effective" (Miami Herald) and "powerful, deeply felt crafted with impressive flair and an ear for striking instrumental colors" (South Florida Sun-Sentinel).  Ticheli (b. 1958) joined the faculty of the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition.  From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony, and he still enjoys a close working relationship with that orchestra and their music director, Carl St. Clair.

Frank Ticheli's orchestral works have received considerable recognition in the U.S. and Europe. Orchestral performances have come from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Saarbruecken, and Austria, and the orchestras of Austin, Bridgeport, Charlotte, Colorado, Haddonfield, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, Jacksonville, Lansing, Long Island, Louisville, Lubbock, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, Richmond, San Antonio, San Jose, and others.

Ticheli is well known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire. In addition to composing, he has appeared as guest conductor of his music at Carnegie Hall, at many American universities and music festivals, and in cities throughout the world, including Schladming, Austria, at the Mid-Europe Music Festival; London and Manchester, England, with the Meadows Wind Ensemble; Singapore, with the Singapore Armed Forces Central Band; and numerous cities in Japan, with the Bands of America National Honor Band.

Frank Ticheli is the winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest for his Symphony No. 2. Other awards for his music include the Charles Ives and the Goddard Lieberson Awards, both from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music.

Frank Ticheli received his doctoral and master's degrees in composition from The University of Michigan. His works are published by Manhattan Beach, Southern, Hinshaw, and Encore Music, and are recorded on the labels of Albany, Chandos, Clarion, Klavier, Koch International, and Mark Records.

By Frank Ticheli
Composed for Håkan Rosengren

Three movements:
Rhapsody for George
Song for Aaron
Riffs for Lenny
Chamber Music
Frank Ticheli, JoAnn Falletta and Håkan Rosengren
following the U.S. premiere performance on July 10, 2010