Balkan Clarinet Summit


Balkan Clarinet Summit

  • country:Turkey
  • region:Gypsy and Balkan
  • style(s):
    • Balkan
    • Jazz
  • label:Piranha Records
  • type: Band
  • gender:male
  • instrumentation:instrumental

It’s a clarinetist’s dream – and the clarinet lover’s and the Balkan music enthusiast’s, too: the meeting of six clarinet giants and their guests, showcasing the instrument’s emotional and musical spectrum, from ethereal meditation to rocking the house.

It’s a clarinetist’s dream – and the clarinet lover’s and the Balkan music enthusiast’s, too: the meeting of six clarinet giants and their guests, showcasing the instrument’s emotional and musical spectrum, from ethereal meditation to rocking the house.

“The clarinet is to Balkan music what the electric guitar is to heavy metal”, so New York clarinetist David Krakauer quite rightfully says about the characteristic instrument of the region. It was only natural, then, for an all-star clarinet project to focus on the music of the Balkans – with, of course, trace elements from all kinds of other styles, regions and genres to spice up the show.

Balkan Clarinet Summit assembles an ambitious line-up of musicians who share their devotion to the distinctive reed instrument under the motto ‘Many Languages – One Soul’. The project was conceived by former head of Goethe Institute in Athens, Wolfgang Pöhlmann. Musical directors Claudio Puntin and Steffen Schorn then shaped the musical focus and steered the production to maturity.

The musical spectre of Many Languages – One Soul can be outlined simply by looking at the backgrounds of the musicians involved: a folk musician and expert in many Greek klarino traditions from Naoussa; a renovator of Serbian traditions from Novi Sad; a traditional Romanian folk musician from Moldavia; a solo bass clarinetist from Istanbul with a reputation as being a leading representative of contemporary jazz and improvised music; an ambient, electronic and soundtrack specialist from Switzerland; and a jazz musician, band leader and conductor from Germany.

Together with a further two guest musicians, they master a repertoire that reaches from folk tunes to experimental new music, from the mournful lament to the high speed exercises of the virtuoso connoisseur. Despite all their differences in approach, ambition and style, they do so with perfect unity. And not a single sonic colour of a regular band is missing – not the bass, not the drums, not even the singer.

Recorded live in concert in Athens, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Sofia, Thessaloniki and Brasov – mission accomplished! With occasional follow-ups, further development of the original concept is most likely.


Musical chameleon Slobodan Trkulja originates from Novi Sad in Serbia. For his unique project Balkanopolis, he united his traditional Serbian musical influences and playing style with the sound of a large studio orchestra. His impressive virtuosity can be heard on his composition “Pitagorino Oro”, featuring a rhythm that takes a 7/7/7/4 form.

Sergiu Balutel was born in Moldavia. He is a classical Romanian Folk musician and master of the staccato playing. His infectiously light rhythmic phrasing can be admired on “Breaza” and “Geamparale”.

Oguz Büyükberber is the only bass clarinet soloist in his country. Born in Istanbul and residing in Amsterdam, he is, alongside his German colleague Tobias Klein, considered one of the leading representatives of the contemporary jazz and improv scene in Europe. Bueyuekberber’s ties to turkish folk music are woven into his very individual style. Together with Klein, he formes an impressive duo that includes all the instruments of the clarinet family.

Orlin Pamukov represents the Bulgarian style of play, which, with its articulation and wily rhythms, is one of the most complicated forms of popular music in Europe. His composition “Severniaski TanC” is based on virtuosic 9/8 timing. He is the only one in the group who plays a clarinet of German construction and fingering.

Claudio Puntin‘s elegance and warm and flexible clarinet sound can be heard on the soundtrack to many films, theatre pieces and radio plays. He effortlessly traverses ambient, electronic and melodic musical forms and ranks among the most creative improvisors on the scene, as can be heard here on the customised bass clarinet on ,”Snake Lick Jab”. His solo on Slobodan Trkuljas ,”Za Moc Oza” is one of the highlights of this recording.

Steffen Schorn is a deep woodwind instrument specialist. His experience as one of the world’s best conductors of large orchestral jazz bands and his own personal compositional style are in high demand internationally. He is a professor and director of the jazz department at Nuremberg’s Musikhochschule and a conductor of the Norwegian Wind Ensemble. His expanding harmonic worlds can be heard on “Poeme” and “Colors of Istanbul”.



Claudio Putin:

Line up

  • Claudio Puntin (Clarinet,Toys, prepared Bassclarinet)
  • Oguz Büyükberber (Bassclarinet)
  • Orlin Pamukov (Clarinet)
  • Sergiu Balutel (Clarinet)
  • Slobodan Trkulja (Clarinet)
  • Stavros Pazarentsis  (Klarino)
  • Steffen Schorn (Contra Altoclarinet)
  • Tobias Klein (Bassclarinet)


Please wait! Loading in progress...please wait! upload in progress... it can take a while - depending on your internet connection