RICHIE HAWLEY was appointed principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1994 at the age of 23, just two years after graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music. Many of the 60+ recordings by the CSO and Cincinnati Pops during his tenure have featured major solos of the clarinet repertoire. American Record Guide hailed Hawley's "gorgeous" clarinet solo in the CSO's Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 as "the crowning achievement" of the recording by Maestro Jesus Lopez-Cobos. Mr. Hawley appears regularly as a chamber musician and recitalist, including performances at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Houston’s Da Camera chamber music series, and with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as principal clarinet during the 2014/15 season. He made his debut in the Marlboro Music Festival in the summers of 1999 and 2000 and performed with the legendary Musicians from Marlboro for the Festival's gala 50th anniversary tour.
Professor of clarinet at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Mr. Hawley was previously assistant professor and head of the clarinet studio at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. During summers, he serves on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Mr. Hawley has garnered awards as both performer and educator. He won the Coleman-Barstow prize at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition in 1988 with Trio con Brio, and that same year was one of five musicians to receive the Gold Medal as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Ronald Reagan in a ceremony at the White House. He has received the Léni Fé Bland Foundation Career Grant twice, and he was awarded the 2009 Glover Award for Outstanding Teacher of the Year at UC’s CCM.
Mr. Hawley began his clarinet studies with Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn School of Performing Arts at age 9. He made his orchestral solo debut at 13, performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as the winner of its student stars competition. At 14 he performed on one of the New York Philharmonic's young person's subscription concerts as a winner of the Philharmonic's national talent search competition. While a student of Donald Montanaro at the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Hawley appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
A Buffet-Crampon artist, Mr. Hawley performs on the Tosca model of clarinet. He is also a D’Addario Woodwinds Performing Artist and Clinician, and plays exclusively on the Reserve Classic reeds and mouthpieces which he helped to develop.