Stephen Girko is the principal clarinetist of the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In fact, since the mid-1970s he’s performed in the woodwind section of nearly every major orchestra in Texas. He served briefly as the principal clarinetist of the San Antonio Symphony back in the 1999-2000 season, and in 1975 he was appointed the principal clarinetist of the Dallas Symphony. At the time of that appointment he was under contract with the Houston Symphony, but he managed to get himself released from that contract and for what would be his debut performance with the orchestra he would go on to serve for twenty-five years. His debut with the DSO was in a performance of the clarinet concerto by Aaron Copland and it just so happened that the composer himself was guest conducting those concerts.
Girko performs the piece with the Austin Symphony this weekend in concerts on Friday and Saturday nights at the Long Center. He joins KMFA’s Chris Johnson for a conversation about the piece and his upcoming performances in Austin.