Tad Calcara has been principal clarinet of the Utah Symphony since 1999. He began piano at age five and studied clarinet at age 12 with his father. He then attended Manhattan School of Music where his teachers included Leon Russianoff. He completed his undergraduate at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and then continued his studies with a Master Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. His summers were spent at the music festivals of Tanglewood, Aspen, and Music Academy of the West. In addition Mr Calcara was grand prize winner of the San Diego Musical Merit Competition as well as finalist in the both the Buffet International Clarinet and Ima Hogg Competitions. Prior to his appointment with the Utah Symphony he performed with the New World Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra.
On several occasions Mr. Calcara has appeared as soloist with various orchestras including, the Cleveland Orchestra, New World Symphony, the Texas Festival Orchestra at Round Top and the Big Band Jazz Hall of Fame Orchestra. Mr. Calcara’s performance of Bernstein’s Prelude Fugue & Riffs with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony was recorded on the RCA Red Seal CD New World Jazz (1998). His solo appearances with the Utah Symphony include the clarinet concertos of Mozart (2002, 2011) , Copland (2000, 2001, 2017) , Artie Shaw (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005) and Lutoslawki (2003). His performance of the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto was featured on KSL’s annual Salute to the Utah Symphony television special in 2001. Mr Calcara’s New Deal Swing show, a musical tribute to the Big Bands of the 1930s & 40s was featured several times on the Utah Symphony Pops series at Abravenel Hall and Deer Valley. In recital he has performed for Radio France in Montpellier, NPR and in the spring of 1999, the first ever New World Symphony Honors Concert.
In addition to his work in classical music, Mr Calcara continues performing in the world of Jazz. His interest in early Jazz and Swing music was encouraged by weekend “jam sessions” with his grandfather who was a former band leader. As a specialist in the music of the Swing Era of the 1930s & 40s, his New Deal Swing Orchestra (NDS) has been a local favorite since the group was established in 2003. NDS was featured with the Utah Symphony, Salt Lake Jazz Festival, and centennial tributes to Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. Mr Calcara is also music director of the Big Band Jazz Hall of Fame Orchestra in San Diego. His work with this ensemble over the past ten years has produced several CDs/DVDs and collaborations with many surviving Big Band artists most notably Ellington vocalist Herb Jeffries.
Mr Calcara resides in Salt Lake City with his family; wife Lynn Rosen (Utah Symphony violinist) and their three kids; Sabrina, Benny & Jasmine.