Neil Rynston’s career has been diverse and innovative.
He has been concerto soloist and principal clarinetist with several orchestras in New York and Europe, notably, the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur (Switzerland) performing Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie at the Stadthaus Winterthur, having won the position of solo clarinetist in 1991. Additionally, he performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Bärmann’s Adagio with the Vivaldi Travelling Virtuosi (NYC) with whom he also played as principal clarinetist under Gene Forrell.
He has also held the dual role of principal clarinetist and orchestra manager with Opera Manhattan (1992-1998) and the Cosmopolitan Symphony Orchestra (1997-2006).
His interest in contemporary music has led to collaborations with such luminaries as David Del Tredici, Lowell Liebermann, Andrew Rudin, Alexander Simic (Serbia) and Phillip Lasser.
An experienced chamber musician, Mr. Rynston has been a repeated guest recitalist at the American Landmark Series (NY), Bruno Walter Hall (NYC), Symphony Space (NYC), the Dame Myra Hess Series (Chicago), Trinity Church Summer Series (NY), the Glencairn Series (Philadelphia), the Frye Museum (Seattle), Tenri Institute, Michael H. Lord Gallery (Palm Springs, CA) has been featured on KING FM (Seattle) and WAMC (NY State).
In 2004 he founded the chamber music ensemble Vista Lirica. Vista Lirica had its inaugural concert in New York in 2005.
During high school, Mr. Rynston studied with Peter Simenauer (NY Philharmonic) and attended (on scholarship) and performed at the Bowdoin International Music Festival during the summers. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in performance from Oberlin Conservatory, having studied with Lawrence McDonald. Rynston continued his professional training with legendary clarinetist Robert Marcellus at Northwestern University, chosen as one of three out of over 1,000 prospectives. He was invited by Gunther Schuller to perform at the Sandpoint Chamber Music Festival in Idaho in 1987. That same year he received a stipend to study at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. During the summers of 1976 and 1979, he attended the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians in Hancock, Maine. He also studied arts management and German literature at New York University’s Gallatin Division.
From 2007-2015, he was on the faculty of the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music where he taught classical clarinet and chamber music. In October 2015 he successfully transferred all of his teaching to the Greenwich House Music School where Vista Lirica performs as ensemble-in-residence.
Reviews of recitals:
The performances were expressive, musically alive and technically brilliant. The Fantasy Pieces of Schumann showed off the strong suits of the clarinetist. Rynston’s tone always sang, was unerringly in tune and the quality of his tone held even, from the lowest to the highest register. The slow movement of the Beethoven [Op. 11 Trio] gave this listener a hint of what paradise must be all about. . . The musically aware audience responded to a simply wonderful performance with enthusiasm.
—Morton Gold (Journal Tribune, July 3, 2008)
Michael H. Lord Gallery Concert a Treasure: There was something so right for Palm Springs in the “Brahms Meets Rauschenberg” concert performed last weekend at the innovative Michael H. Lord Gallery. It was excellent. . . . And it was appreciated by a serious group of art and music lovers who are still here a month after the snowbirds fly east. . . they played them with intoxicating clarity. . . “Michael is going to have more events like this,” said John Hussar of PRNews Works who has recently associated with the Gallery “when Palm Springs can attract such world-class artists as these.”
—Patty Selah (My Desert, May 2009)
As orchestra manager of Opera Manhattan (1991-98), Rynston developed an orchestra of distinguished soloists. Opera Manhattan presented its Lincoln Center début at Alice Tully Hall in 1997.
Opera Manhattan was formed to present productions of various neglected operas in theaters around town. Its other driving goal was to raise money for AIDS research and care. In both areas the company has made notable contributions to the city . . . . The orchestra playing was stylistically assured.
—Anthony Tommasini (NY Times)
The orchestra achieved a coherent sound, doing justice to Massenet’s lush harmonies.
—Marylis Sevilla-Gonzaga (Opera News)
In “Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux” from Le Cid, clarinetist Neil Rynston eloquently limned Chimène’s pathos with stirring virtuosity.
—Bruce-Michael Gelbert (NY Native)