Ian Wisekal featured at International Double Reed Society conference
Lamont oboe professor Ian Wisekal was a featured performer at the 2023 International Double Reed Society conference, held in Bangkok, Thailand July 18-22. Mahidol University, on the outskirts of the city, served as host.
Hosted in a different location each year, the conference features round-table discussions, lectures and presentations, reading sessions, and world-class performances of works both classic and new. Alongside these inspiring events are exhibits by double reed vendors from around the world. Last year, when the conference was held in Boulder, Colorado, Wisekal was able to perform several times, including a solo recital.
For the 2023 conference, Wiskal's proposal was a recital titled "American Romantics." It included two pieces by Romantic-era American composers Amy Beach and Charles Loeffler that Wisekal adapted or arranged for different instrumentation. Beach’s Three Compositions was originally for violin and piano, and Loeffler’s Quatre poèmes was originally for voice, viola and piano; Wisekal transcribed the viola part for his husband, clarinetist Jason Shafer. The recital was very warmly received by those in attendance.
Wisekal reports that the rest of his time at the conference was very well spent: "The performance spaces were lovely and the campus lush and tropical, with buildings separated by waterways that were populated with fish and huge monitor lizards. I attended some amazing performances, met new colleagues, and caught up with old ones."
Reflecting on his time in Bangkok, a city of 11 million people, Wisekal continued, "It was a literal and figurative feast: restaurants and street food sellers every few feet, enormous shopping malls and marketplaces, a vibrant, international crowd, and traffic that makes the worst jams in Denver seem almost comically tame. The climate was also a stark contrast to ours, being hot, extremely humid, and at sea level."