Sammy Lesnick is a clarinetist based in New York City. He is devoted to performing classical music in all of its exciting varieties, including traditional orchestral and chamber music as well as contemporary and improvisatory music. No matter the style, he strives to approach his art with a sense of adventure, spontaneity, and humor.

At his festival debut in 2012 at the Olympic Music Festival in Washington, Sammy was described as “already a musician of phenomenal skill and artistry” performing at a “breathtakingly high level of accomplishment” (Seen and Heard International). Since then, he has performed at festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Spoleto Festival USA, Icicle Creek Chamber Music, Time Spans, Resonant Bodies, Soundscape (Maccagno, Italy), Festival Daniou (Dinard, France), Festival de Cultural de Mayo (Guadalajara, Mexico), and the Ritsos Project (Samos, Greece).

Sammy was the winner of the Eastman clarinet concerto competition in 2013, performing Magnus Lindberg’s concerto with the Eastman Philharmonia and conductor Brad Lubman.  He was awarded first place clarinet at the Washington State solo competition in 2012 and in the same year won the Seattle Symphony Young Artist Competition, performing the final movement of Weber’s Concerto No. 2 with the orchestra and conductor Ludovic Morlot.

Sammy has performed with such groups as the Princeton Symphony, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Slee Sinfonietta, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Signal, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Sammy is a founding member of the Zohn Collective, a group of like-minded musicians focused on performing contemporary music by living composers. He has worked personally with many composers, including Rand Steiger, Chaya Czernowin, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and with Steve Reich, performing his New York Counterpoint for solo clarinet at Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall with Reich in attendance, followed by a repeat performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Having received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 2016, Sammy has studied with Kenneth Grant, Jon Manasse, Sean Osborn, and Kim Fay. Originally from Seattle, he has had a life-long love for nature. When not playing music, he is usually out walking, biking, kayaking, and looking for funny animals.

Places Sammy has performed