Thomas Piercy is a critically acclaimed musician with orchestral, concerto, solo recital and chamber music appearances throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. Described by The New York Times as “Brilliant...playing with refinement and flair…evoking a panache in the contemporary works…,” Mr. Piercy presents audiences to varied and exciting concerts of standard classical music, jazz-inspired programs, contemporary works, pieces written specifically for him and his own original arrangements, compositions and collaborations.
A versatile artist defying categorization – performing on the Emmy Award-winning Juno Baby CDs and DVDs; playing Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Earl Wild; performing concert improvisations with pianist Donal Fox; performing Mozart with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade; playing Broadway songs with Raoul Julia; conducting Cabaret or Rodgers & Hammerstein; working with the composer Leonard Bernstein; appearing in a KRS-ONE music video; playing hichiriki in Japan and the U.S.; recording with members of Maroon 5 - as an instrumentalist, singer, director and music director/conductor and actor, he has performed for Broadway and Off-Broadway, television, radio, video and commercial recordings.
Piercy performs and records on rare rosewood English-bore clarinets made for him by Luis Rossi of Santiago, Chile, and Buffet Prestige clarinets with Opperman mouthpieces and barrels. His sound has been described by critics as "uniquely beautiful and consistently warm."
Mr. Piercy has performed at many of the worlds acclaimed concerts halls including Carnegie Hall (NY, NY), Lincoln Center (NY, NY), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC.), the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Chicago, Illinois), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Wigmore Hall (London, England), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome, Italy) and Parthenon (Tokyo, Japan).
Piercy's many festival appearances have included a featured performance in memory of Leon Russianoff at the 1991 International ClarinetFest, a concert of contemporary American music at the 2005 ClarinetFest in Tokyo, Japan, and an all-Piazzolla concert at the 2007 International Clarinet Festival in Vancouver, Canada. He has performed in concerts and festivals in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Denmark, The United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan.
Mr. Piercy has received grants for recordings, commissions, and performances from the Cary Trust (1999-2010), the Scandinavian Foundation, the International Clarinet Association, New York State Council on the Arts (1999-2014), and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (1999-2014). Piercy's earliest studies were in both voice and clarinet. A recipient of numerous scholarships, prizes and awards, he studied clarinet, voice and conducting at the Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Virginia Commonwealth University and Shenandoah Conservatory. Piercy's earliest studies were in both voice and clarinet. He began his college education studying clarinet under Dr. Stephen Johnston at Shenandoah Conservatory and Gailyn Parks at Virginia Commonwealth University. He later moved to New York City to study with Gervase De Peyer under scholarship at Mannes College of Music; he continued to study extensively with De Peyer after leaving Mannes. Piercy later studied with and soon became an assistant to the renowned clarinet pedagogue Leon Russianoff; additional clarinet studies and reed-making studies were undertaken with clarinetist, reed, barrel and mouthpiece maker, and composer Kalmen Opperman. He has had arrangements and transcriptions published by Boosey & Hawkes, and as an assistant to Kalmen Opperman, he has contributed to clarinet study books and clarinet compositions published by Carl Fischer, Inc., and Baron Publishing. In demand as a clarinet, sax and voice teacher, many of Piercy's students have gone on to schools and careers in music.
Piercy is currently the Artistic Director and clarinetist of the Gotham Ensemble. A mixed vocal and instrumental ensemble based in New York City, the Gotham Ensemble premieres, performs and records a wide variety of repertoire, from the Classical to the avant-garde. A New York Times review of Gotham's Merkin Hall, New York City, performance of a program of Olav Thommessen's music specifically encouraged the public to go out and purchase the recordings. After a performance of Ned Rorem's "Ariel" at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Rorem wrote of Gotham as one of America's important chamber music groups performing new music today. Albany Records released “Gotham Ensemble Plays Ned Rorem” - a CD of Ned Rorem's chamber music featuring the clarinet.
A frequent performer of new music, Mr. Piercy has premiered over 200 compositions composed for him. The works, for clarinet, bass clarinet or hichiriki, include solo pieces, duos, trios, quartets, larger mixed ensembles, concertos and double concertos. They include a wide variety of styles of music, from contemporary classical to Japanese avant-garde; from the abstract to minimalism; from J-pop to jazz-influenced pieces. The composers have ranged from 18 to 95 years of age. They come from all walks of life and experience: from university students to university professors; from self-taught composers to composers with Ph.Ds; from emerging composers to composers that have won such prominent awards as the Takemitsu Prize, the Geneva Composition Prize, the Grammy Award, the Latin Grammy Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.
Ned Rorem, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Grammy Award-winning composer, wrote his only clarinet and piano piece, "Four Colors," for Mr. Piercy. The work had its premier at an 80th birthday concert celebration for Mr. Rorem at Carnegie Hall in the fall of 2003. A short list of the composers he has worked with and premiered their works (many of them written for him) include Milton Babbit, Kei Daigo, Masatora Goya, Osamu Kawakami, Migaku Kitsukawa, Yu Kuwabara, Yasunoshin Morita, Jun Nagao, Senri Oe, Miho Sasaki, Hifumi Shimoyama, Shoichiro Tanaka, Kazuyuki Taguchi, Ippo Tsuboi, Shoichi Yabuta, Trevor Bachman, Richard Rodney Bennett, Ed Bland, Jean-Patrick Besingrand, Wendy Mae Chambers, Chen Yiahn, David Del Tredici, Elisenda Fabrégas, Donal Fox, Melissa Grey, Daron Hagen, Jennifer Higdon, Katherine Hoover, Bin Li, David Loeb, Fernando Otero, Russell Platt, Gene Pritsker, Robert Xavier Rodriguez, Paul Anthony Romero, Ned Rorem, Michael Schelle, Olav Anton Thommessen, and many others.
Piercy's discography includes "Gotham Ensemble Plays Ned Rorem", a CD of chamber music featuring the clarinet (released by Albany Records), "CAFE", a CD of music for clarinet and guitar (released by Tonada Records), the world-premier recording of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's "Ballad in Memory of Shirley Horn" and the Emmy Award winning CDs and DVDs "Juno Baby." He can also be heard on commercials, film and theater recordings. He has recorded for the Albany, Capstone, DGI, Changing Tones, NJST, and Tonada Records labels.
Thomas Piercy is an official Rossi Clarinet, Forestone Reeds and Silverstein ligatures artist.
www.rossiclarinet.com www.forestone-japan.com www.silversteinworks.com