Meet Ima Hogg Competition Semi-finalist Sam Boutris! This talented 25-year-old clarinetist is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Yale University and holds a bachelor’s degree from The Curtis Institute of Music. We recently got a chance to ask Sam a few questions about his life in music.
Houston Symphony: Where did you grow up?
Sam Boutris: Fort Worth, TX.
HS: What role has your family played in your musical life?
SB: My grandparents have supported me in every way imaginable from day one of clarinet.
HS: At what age did you begin playing your instrument and what memories do you have of your first rehearsals or performances?
SB: I began in 6th grade. After seeing the movie Amadeus, particularly the scene in which the woodwinds play his Gran Partita, I was basically hooked for life.
HS: What has been the most exciting event for you in your musical career?
SB: Playing Mozart’s Gran Partita Serenade with Curtis on Tour summer 2013.
HS: Do you have any pre-performance habits or rituals?
SB: Gin and Tonic.
HS: Who are some of your most profound influences and what is the impact they have had on you?
SB: Ricardo Morales taught me how to practice. Michael Rusinek taught me how to think. Donald Montanaro taught me how to listen.
HS: Who is the most famous person you have met or worked with?
SB: Tony Hawk—he gave me his hat.
HS: What are the “top five” pieces or songs on your playlist or iPod?
SB: Late Mozart piano concertos, Of Monsters and Men.
HS: Do you have any favorite TV shows?
SB: The Office.
HS: What is your favorite kind of food?
SB: Texas Barbecue.
HS: Do you have a favorite city or travel destination?
A man of few words—but lots of music! See the inimitable Sam Boutris perform Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major for FREE at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music on Thursday June 2. And don’t forget to get tickets to the Finals Concert!