American clarinetist Garrick Zoeter’s passionate and exciting way with the clarinet has been acknowledged around the world. The Clarinet recently described his playing as “remarkable, his tone is beautiful and he shows complete mastery of all the technical demands and effects that are required of this piece, his artistry and virtuosity are compelling. This is one of the finest clarinet performances I have reviewed.” The Washington Post described a recent performance of his as “an utterly commanding performance, technically superb and radiant with otherworldly majesty all played with exceptional insight.”
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Zoeter’s first serious clarinet studies were with Kenneth Lee and National Symphony Orchestra clarinetist William Wright. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School as a student of Charles Neidich and his master’s degree from Yale University as a student of David Shifrin. He made his solo debut at the age of seventeen in Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has won numerous competitions as a soloist including the 1991 International Clarinet Society International Clarinet Competition, as well as prizes in chamber music: the grand prize in the 1998 Fischoff, Coleman, and Yellow Springs chamber music competitions; the silver medal in the 1997 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2002 Concert Artists Guild competition.
Zoeter is the founding member of the acclaimed multi-award-winning clarinet, violin, cello, piano quartet Antares. From 1997 to 2012 with Antares, he annually gave performances around the United States at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Aspen Music Festival, Strathmore, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis, Carnegie Recital Hall, Market Square Concerts, the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art and Cincinnati Chamber Music Society. His work with Antares resulted in the commissioning and premiering of over twenty new quartets from several of North America’s top young composers including Mason Bates, John Mackey, James Matheson, Dan Visconti and Carter Pann. Zoeter is also a frequent performer with such diverse groups as Trio Solisti, the Audubon String Quartet, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century, the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, the University of Buffalo’s Slee Sinfinietta, the Post Classical Ensemble, the Pressenda Chamber Players, the Monadnock Music Festival and the New Orchestra of Washington. Recent performances have included Donald Martino’s Triple Concerto in Buffalo, New York, and chamber music appearances in Strasbourg, France, and Medellin, Columbia, as well as numerous chamber music performances around Washington, D.C., including Georgetown’s Evermay Estate.
A committed teacher as well as performer, Zoeter serves as the Anna Lee VanBuren Professor of Clarinet at Shenandoah Conservatory. His students from Shenandoah include numerous competition winners and can be found performing in professional ensembles, teaching in university and public schools positions, and serving as music therapists throughout the country and abroad. While at Shenandoah he has been featured in concerto performances with the Wind Ensemble in Michael Daugherty’s Brooklyn Bridge and Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations, and with the Symphony Orchestra in Debussy’s Premiere Rhapsody, Strauss’ Duet Concertino, Copland's Clarinet Concerto and Bolcom's Clarinet Concerto. He also performs each semester with the faculty Van Buren Winds. He formally served on the clarinet and chamber music faculty of Wesleyan University from 2002 to 2007, and was the clarinet professor at the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho from 1997 to 2003 during the summer in the city of Fortaleza, Brasil.
Zoeter has recorded for the CRI, Newport Classics, Bridge, Innova, Naxos, MSR Classics, and New Focus Recordings CD labels. In addition to his performing and teaching, Zoeter serves on the advisory council of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters.