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Guest Artist Bios

2024 Clarinet Fiesta Guest Artists

Mitchell Estrin

Mitchell Estrin


Mitchell Estrin is Professor of Clarinet at the University of Florida, Music Director and Conductor of the University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble, and a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Vandoren Clarinet Ensemble Festival and was founder of the Buffet Crampon USA Summer Clarinet Academy. From 2018-2020, Prof. Estrin served as President of the International Clarinet Association. He is the author of the biography Stanley Drucker, Clarinet Master published by Carl Fischer and a regular contributor to the Vandoren WAVE. Prior to his current appointments, he had a 25-year association with the New York Philharmonic, and performed in hundreds of concerts as principal, second, and E-flat clarinetist under six music directors and many distinguished guest conductors. He accompanied the Philharmonic on 19 international tours and made dozens of recordings with the orchestra. He has performed with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New Arts Trio, at the Newport Music Festival, and was a founding member of the Amadeus Ensemble. Prof. Estrin has an extensive discography of solo and chamber music, and recorded over 100 Hollywood motion-picture soundtracks. Prof. Estrin has served as director of the ICA College, Festival, and Professors Clarinet Choirs, Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium Clarinet Choir, United States Navy Clarinet Choir, Texas State Clarinet Fiesta Clarinet Choir, and Texas Clarinet Colloquium Clarinet Choir. He has conducted the University of Florida Clarinet Ensemble throughout the United States and Europe, including three feature recitals at the ICA ClarinetFest. The ensemble recorded four critically acclaimed CDs for Mark Masters, Christmas Clarinets (2016), Clarinet Choir Classics (2012), Clarinet Thunder (2009), and Wind in the Reeds (2006). Prof. Estrin's students hold positions at major universities and have performed with such prestigious ensembles as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, New York Pops, United States Army Band "Pershing's Own", and United States Army Field Band. Mitchell Estrin studied clarinet with Stanley Drucker at The Juilliard School where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Mitchell Estrin is a Buffet Crampon Clarinet Artist and Vandoren Performing Artist.

Cecilia Kang

Cecilia Kang

Praised for “ethereal [tonal] colors” and “effortless” clarinet playing (The Clarinet Journal), clarinetist Cecilia Kang enjoys a multi-faceted international career as a concert clarinetist, educator, scholar, adjudicator, and collaborator. Dr. Kang currently serves as the associate professor of clarinet at Louisiana State University, and she is also an artist faculty at Aria International Academy and Sewanee Music Festival during the summers. Since her concerto debut at age sixteen, she has frequently appeared as a soloist with symphony orchestras and bands across Asia and North America. An in-demand chamber musician, she has collaborated with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Danish Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. As an orchestral player, she has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to winning top prizes from the Canadian Music Competition, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Standard Life Competition, and the International Clarinet Association Research Competition, she has received numerous grants from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington DC, the New Music USA, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Metropolitan Arts Council, the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects, the Kingsway Foundation, and the Hendrickson Foundation.

A respected educator, Dr. Kang has presented at the Midwest Clinic, the College Music Society Conference, the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest, and the Music Educators Association conferences in Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, South Dakota, Minnesota, and North Dakota. She has given many clarinet master classes and workshops at prestigious musical institutions around the world such as Milan Conservatory (Italy), the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Kraków (Poland), National Taiwan University of Arts (Taiwan), Yonsei University (South Korea), Thailand International Clarinet Academy (Thailand), Beijing Central Conservatory of Music (China), the University of Toronto (Canada), San Francisco Conservatory (US), and the University of Michigan (US) among many others. Her scholarly works have been published by the Cambridge University Press, and the GIA Publications, as well as forthcoming articles by the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinet Journal and the Publishing House Academy of Music Krzysztof Penderecki (Poland). Throughout her career, she has adjudicated on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts, the International Clarinet Association, the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, the Interflow Band Festival of Hong Kong, and the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition.  

Dr. Kang is committed to seeking creative and purposeful ways to balance her musical career and community building as a 21st-century global citizen. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she established the Silver Linings Initiative, for which she organized 25 virtual panel discussions among clarinetists, music educators, and arts leaders around the world examining the paradigm shifts in the field of Music. In January 2023, she curated the groundbreaking Han and Heung Festival, celebrating stories of resilience and optimism shared by both the Korean and African-American diasporas through interweaving an unforgettable fusion of music and social dialogue.

She earned a DMA from the University of Michigan, a MM from the University of Southern California, and a BM from the University of Toronto. She has participated in professional development residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the International Ensemble and Composers Academy for Contemporary Music (Austria), and the International Music Institute Darmstadt (Germany). Her clarinet mentors include Yehuda Gilad, Daniel Gilbert, Joseph Orlowski, Joaquin Valdepenas, Avrahm Galper, and Zeng-Ming Liao.  She is a proud Vandoren and Buffet Crampon Performing Artist and Clinician.

Dr. Vanguel Tangarov

. Vanguel Tangarov

Dr. Vanguel Tangarov is an Associate Professor of Clarinet at Texas State University and an Artistic Director and founder of the annual international clarinet event Texas State Clarinet Fiesta. Vanguel Tangarov performs as a Principal Clarinetist for the Austin Opera, Mid-Texas Symphony, and Victoria Symphony Orchestras.

Tangarov previously served as Principal Clarinet of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Bulgaria (1993-1998), Academia Chigiana Symphony Orchestra, Italy (1993-1997), Jeunesses Musicales World Symphony Orchestra, Germany (1993-1994), and the Monterrey Symphony Orchestra (OSUANL) in Mexico (1998-2004). He has appeared as a soloist with the Györ Symphony, Hungary, Mid-Texas Symphony in USA, the Plovdiv Philharmonic, the Rousse Philharmonic, the Varna Philharmonic and the Sofia Philharmonic orchestras in Bulgaria, the Constanta Philharmonic in Romania, the Monterrey Symphony (OSUANL) and Monterrey Chamber Orchestra in Mexico, presenting music by Mozart, Weber, Copland, Jean Françaix, Cimarosa, Giampieri, Bernstein, Pipkov, and Artie Shaw.

Vanguel Tangarov has performed in more than 20 countries on four continents, winning a positive critical acclaim. Equally popular as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, he has performed in important venues worldwide, such as Berliner Filharmoniker Hall (Berlin), Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Schauspielhaus (Berlin), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Oslo Konserthaus (Norway), Cadogan Hall (London), Symphony Hall Birmingham (UK), Boston Symphony Hall (USA), Bulgaria Hall (Sofia), and Zaragoza Hall (Spain), to name a few.

Tangarov studied clarinet with Dimitar Boyanov at the Dobrin Petkov Music High School for gifted students in his native country. He continued his education at the National Academy of Music “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov,” in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he received a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree in clarinet performance under the direction of renowned pedagogue and concert artist, Petko Radev, a former principal clarinet of Teatro Alla Scala, Milan, Italy.

Tangarov received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin under the direction of Richard MacDowell. He has also received instruction from musicians such as Aurelian Octav Popa, Rumania, and Gerald Pahinger, Principal Clarinetist of Vienna Symphony.

Tangarov’s solo appearances include recitals at the 2018/2022 Neo-Path International Festival; the 2022/2023 VIMA Grand Strand Music Festival at Myrtle Beach, SC; the 10th Anniversary Season Bulgarian Concert Evenings at New York, 2015, a solo recital at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington DC; many performances at the 2023, 2022, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, and 2010 International Clarinet Fests in Denver CO, Reno NV, Knoxville TN, Ostende, Belgium; Orlando FL, Lawrence, KS, Baton Rouge, LA, and Austin, TX, as well as a performance at the opening ceremony of the 2014 International Plovdiv Chamber Music Competition in Bulgaria. He can be heard as a principal clarinetist on a Naxos Label recording titled Circus Maximus by John Corigliano with The University of Texas at Austin Wind Ensemble, Harmonia Mundi Label, Samuel Barber: An American Romantic, Conspirare, Craig Hella Jonson and The Company of Voices, Harmonia Mundi Label, 2017 GRAMMY Nominated, Craig Hella Johnson: “Considering Matthew Shepard”, as well as the soundtrack for the movie Knight of Cups, directed by Terrence Malik, in addition to being on more than 10 other recordings.

Guest Clarinet Choir

Mission Winds Clarinet Quartet

Mission Winds Clarinet Quartet

Hailing from the United States Air Force Band of the West in San Antonio, Texas, Mission Winds is a clarinet quartet devoted to excellence in performance and musical outreach throughout the Southern United States. As a military music ensemble, Mission Winds seeks to serve diverse communities of all ages by providing engaging concerts and educational outreach from the concert hall to the classroom.

Mission Winds honors our veterans, inspires the public, and connects with communities through their performances at a variety of events such as military and civic ceremonies, public outreach and school concerts. The group supports music education through clinics and master classes to elementary through college-aged students and presents performance tours throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Mission Winds have performed at various high schools, elementary schools, middle schools, universities, and have been featured at the Texas Music Educators Association conventions, benefiting both the students and performers.

The members of Mission Winds bring to the United States Air Force many years of professional experience with symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, touring shows, and today's popular artists.