Mustafa KANDIRALI’nın Amerika’da bir dergide çıkan yazısı (Emre EROL)


21, 2021, at Raichur, Karnataka, and  

the residential place of Panditji. The  

chief guest of the function, educator  

and eminent writer Professor K.E.  

Radhakrishna, expressed that Artist’s  

Day honors all artists while celebrating  

the birthday of Panditji. Eminent writer  

Basavaraja Bhagavathi, another guest at  

the function, heartily supported this view.  

The program was inaugurated with the  

lighting of the lamp by the 108 Savira  

Devaru Samsthana Kille Bruhanmata Sri.  Shanthamalla Shivacharya Maha Swamy. While being celebrated, Pt. Vadavatiji  remarked that all achievements can be  

Hindustani musical performance at Artist’s Day celebration 

reached when Guru (the teacher) blesses  with his heart. Hence, the student must  believe in him with utmost dedication.  

Professor Pramod Katti of Agriculture  University, Raichur, felt that the present  generation is lucky to have witnessed  such an artist enthralling the audience  during concerts held everywhere. Panditji  Vadavati has devoted and dedicated his  

life to the cause of bringing out all the  vocal nuances of Hindustani music on  the clarinet. In recognition of his merit,  he was invited to represent India during  ClarinetFest® 2011. Panditji`s name is  included among the list of 20th-century  achievers by Cambridge University. He is  the ICA country chair for India. Panditji and his wife, Smt. Shivamma   Vadavati, were both felicitated at this  event. Smt. Vadavati Sharada Bharat, Smt.  Saraswati Rajashekar, Vadavati Thejashree  Bharath, Vadavati Shreyankitha Bharath  and Sai Sanjana presented a Hindustani  classical vocal concert. The Secretary,  Bharath Samskruthika, Kala Kendra, Mr.  Yoga Raveesh Bharath K., and others  shared the stage on the occasion. 


by Boja Kragulj 

As a vast borderland between East and  West, in Turkey the clarinet is the voice  

of an entire nation. When the Ottoman  Empire formally disbanded with the  founding of Turkey in 1923, President  Atatürk was eager to establish what  

Turkish music was, and the clarinet  quickly became a defining element. After  a generation of clarinetists like Ibrahim  Efendi and Şükrü Tunar began the  



tradition, musicians like Mustafa Kandıralı  

(1930–2020) launched Turkish clarinet  

performance to new national heights. It  

truly became the voice of a nation because  

of musicians like Mustafa Kandıralı. 

Born on July 10, 1930, in the  

northwestern Turkish province of Kocali’s  

Kandıra district, a talented Kandıralı  

(original surname Kadıoğlu) walked  

to Istanbul on foot at 12 years of age,  

alone, to have a shot at hearing the radio  

broadcasts live and performing. With only  

basic training at a local community music  

center in his hometown and the guiding  

advice of his father who was an amateur  

clarinetist, Kandıralı made his way. 

Upon arrival in Istanbul, Mustafa lived  

in a small hotel in the then-undeveloped  

Taksim area. He earned wages through  

various tasks and performances at  weddings, then increasingly at larger  venues in casinos and clubs. Throughout  his youth, he had access to Turkish Radio  (TRT) broadcasts where the clarinet was  newly presented as a Turkish instrument.  Because formal Ottoman traditions  were banned, including Ottoman  instrumentation, the fact that the clarinet  was a new voice in the country (not  part of formal Ottoman ensembles)  allowed it to be celebrated and revered  as uniquely Turkish. An energy and  pride developed around founding-father  Atatürk’s declaration of what was Turkish.  It was this energy and national pride that  clarinetist Mustafa Kandıralı was born  into and carried fiercely forward. 

Continuing to learn by ear with his  radio, Kandıralı developed a fast career  through dedication without much  guidance. When Şükrü Tunar passed away  in 1962, the 32-year-old Kandıralı was  ready to expand the tradition of Turkish  clarinet performance in a very serious way.  The concerts and tours he presented from  the 1960s onward brought him fame at  home and abroad. He is one of the first  names that comes to mind when the  clarinet is mentioned in Turkey, Greece  and the Balkans. 

Unlike Tunar, who was a composer and  performed exclusively Turkish melodies  that maintained strict modal rules,  Kandıralı’s style began to merge traditional  modal tunes with Turkish dance music  

Serkan Çağrı and Mustafa Kandirali 

and Roma traditions, as well as harmonic  and melodic norms from the West. His  shows were colorful and visually engaging,  and he was ideally primed to represent the  evolving tradition of clarinet performance  in the fast-developing, new world of  Turkish radio and television broadcasting. 

Serkan Çağrı reports listening to  Mustafa on every holiday as a family  tradition through television broadcasts,  much like the variety hours presented by  Benny Goodman in the U.S. For many of  today’s Turkish clarinetists, Mustafa was  their introduction to the instrument: his  television appearances and concert touring  were oddly similar to that of Benny  Goodman in years immediately prior.  In fact, Goodman’s tours of the USSR  and Europe in the 1960s were widely  broadcast and accessible to Kandıralı.  Personal stories from Mustafa indicate his  strong interest in jazz and especially in  Goodman’s career. When Goodman and  Louis Armstrong broke ties and took their  tours separately to the USSR and Turkey,  Kandıralı had the fortune of performing  with Louis Armstrong locally, a dream  come true. 

After these experiences and new  connections, Kandıralı began to  increasingly incorporate jazz riffs  and melodies inside his Turkish  

improvisations. By the mid-1970s he had  established a unique style that was an  amalgamation of Turkish, Western and  jazz musical languages. This propelled the  clarinet from folk tradition to pop-star  status as it became an instrument capable  of crossing the boundary between Eastern  musical modes and Western harmony.  Kandıralı bridged the gap not only  between genres but between the various  factions and identities that struggled to be  a Turkish whole. He did it not with a pen  or even a sword, but with a clarinet.  

It is Kandıralı’s unique career that has  allowed the clarinet and clarinetists in  Turkey to enjoy high status and visibility  at the front of the stage and in television  programming. Serkan Çağrı, Hüsnü  Şenlendirici and most notably Mustafa’s  nephew Turkan Kandıralı all cite his  eclectic style as the inspiration for their  successful careers. This high level of  influence led Süleyman Demirel, president  of Turkey from 1993 to 2000, to offer  Kandıralı the rare title of “state artist.”  Kandıralı declined the award, saying he  was not an artist of the state but an “artist  of the people.” While he later expressed  regret for turning down the honor, it  tells the story of who Mustafa Kandıralı  was as a musician and what he felt for  the clarinet, an instrument that was the  



grassroots of the new Turkish nation, an  instrument of the people. He would later  move on to represent Turkey nationally  and give solo performances for President  Ronald Reagan and Hafez Assad, leader  of Syria. 

Mustafa Kandıralı passed away on  December 27, 2020, leaving behind an  enormous legacy that forms the bedrock  

of Turkish clarinet performance today.  His four daughters (Kismet, Mukadder,  Jale and Nejla) mourn the passing of  their father but celebrate the legacy he  leaves for clarinetists worldwide. His  

nephew Turkan Kandıralı, also a talented  and respected clarinetist, advances the  family name and musical tradition as a  clarinetist, and Mustafa’s daughter Kismet  extends her father’s talent as a celebrated  Turkish singer. Toward the end of his life,  Kandıralı entreated young clarinetists  to carry forward the tradition he had  helped to establish. His recordings and  performances are now widely distributed  on international streaming platforms,  giving the world access to a unique style of  performance that is the Turkish clarinet. The author thanks Emre Erol, Serkan  

Çağrı, Turkan Kandıralı and the family  of Mustafa Kandıralı for their time and  conversation as this article was prepared. 


Kragulj, Boja. “The Clarinet as a Defining  Instrument of Turkish Musical  

Culture.” The Clarinet Vol. 39/3 (June  2012), pp. 59-62. 

_____. “The Turkish Clarinet: Its History,  an Exemplification of its Practice by  Serkan Çagri, and a Single Case Study.”  D.M.A. diss. University of North  Carolina, 2011. 


We have lost a giant in the clarinet  

world. William “Bill” Brannen passed  

away November 24, 2020, in Evanston,  

Illinois. The renowned clarinet repair  

technician, a true artisan, was famous for  

his perfectionism, contributing to the  

artistry of many famous clarinetists, whose  

photographs lined the walls of his repair  

shop. It is fitting that his wife of 45 years  

and repair partner Linda is in these photos,  

as she was always at his side, having done  

half of the repair work since 1975. Born  

in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1937, Bill  

moved to Chicago in 1960 to accept an  

instrument repair position at a music store.  He later worked for legendary mouthpiece  maker Frank Kaspar. Kaspar told anyone  who would listen that Bill was the finest  mechanic he’d ever met. Learning the  craft as he went by repairing the clarinets  of Chicago Symphony musicians, he  soon developed a reputation as one who  could perform very fine work. He started  Brannen Woodwinds in Chicago in 1967,  moving his shop to Evanston in 1970. The  many visitors from all over the world who  came to Evanston to have their clarinets  “Brannenized” also benefited from hearing  Bill’s stories about orchestral performances,  the sounds of great clarinetists who had  tested their clarinets there, and his vast  knowledge about all things clarinet. As Bill  put it, “music has given me so much.” He  will be greatly missed.  

Bill and Linda Brannen

* * * * * 

The following are excerpts from memories  of those who knew Bill Brannen. Please see  The Clarinet Online ( TCO) for the full remembrances. 

When I purchased my first professional  clarinet as a freshman at Indiana University,  my teacher advised me to send it to Bill  Brannen for setup. Twice a year for the  next four decades Bill and Linda made  my clarinets and especially my basses play  better than new. As the years passed, I came  to look forward to seeing the Brannens as  much as having my instruments repaired. I  miss the prospect of further visits with both  

Bill and Linda Brannen, both professionally  and personally. 

– Ronald Aufmann, Bass Clarinet,  Cincinnati Symphony 

Not only was Bill Brannen a genius  at woodwind repair, but he was also a  seemingly bottomless source of stories  about so many great woodwind players  through the decades. From the time I first  met him in the early ’70s when he sold me  two of my favorite instruments, through  the many years during which he and Linda  kept those and my other clarinets in top  form, Bill was not only a true craftsman,  but a good friend. We will all miss Bill,  




Compiled by Emily Kerski 


Davis Hampton won the principal bass clarinet audition  for the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” Sammy Lesnick won the clarinet audition for the United  States Army Band “Pershing’s Own.”  

Anthony McGill was appointed to the William R. and  Hyunah Yu Brody Distinguished Chair at the Curtis Institute  of Music.  


Renowned innovator of woodwind equipment Charles  Bay (1931-2021) passed away on February 19, 2021, at the  age of 90. A tribute will appear in an upcoming issue. 

Omar Henderson, “the Doctor” in Doctor’s Products,  passed away on March 15, 2021. He was a chemist at the  CDC, amateur clarinetist and entrepreneur/inventor who  was a regular exhibitor at clarinet events for many years.  

Information in this column is gathered from the Clarinet Jobs Facebook Group  and submissions to

craftsman extraordinaire, a true character,  and a generous human being. 

– Linda Baker, Bass Clarinet/Acting  Co-Principal Clarinet, Lyric Opera  Orchestra of Chicago 

I first met Bill in 1980, during my first  season with the CSO. I had had work  done by Hans Moennig during my college  years in Philadelphia, and on my first job  in Arizona the great Roy Seaman, who  had been head of the repair shop that  Schirmer used to have in New York City,  had maintained my instruments. Yet I  found Bill was the best at understanding  the instrument, creating his own tools to  fix chronic problems, and analyzing any  issue on any clarinet. Over my 40 years  with the CSO, Bill worked on many  clarinets (Eb, Bb, A, C, basset A), my basset  horn, and many bass clarinets. I can truly  say he made every day of my career easier.  Several times in all those years I took an  instrument back just so he could see it.  Seven, eight, however many years after he  had initially set up an instrument it was  still feeling great, and working fine.  

Bill could be a curmudgeon, and had  extremely strong views on some of our  favorite instrument companies, but we  had wide-ranging discussions, including  baseball, history and of course our mutual  fascination with what makes a clarinet  work better.  

– J. Lawrie Bloom, Bass Clarinet,  Chicago Symphony, ret.  

Bill was pivotal in moving clarinet and  woodwind performance along starting in  1960 when he came to Chicago. It was also  not just the clarinet: he and Ray Still caused  the Lorée oboe makers to make major  changes to their oboe manufacturing. He  joins the woodwind players of the last  century in helping to move woodwind  playing to where it is today.  

– Linda Brannen 

When you wanted a clarinet with keywork  that was exceptionally well balanced, rock solid stability in the tenon connections,  resonance from every tone hole, pads that  were all at the right height, and everything  very reliable, then you hoped that Bill  and Linda Brannen would agree to service  your instruments. 

With Bill we all had the connection to  the “old school.” He loved classical music  

and I think that drove him to be really  good at his craft of setting up instruments  so they played exceedingly well, and then  he would be somewhat stern with his  customers about actually caring for those  instruments.  

If I am truthful, I have to acknowledge  that some of my career success is due to  the relentless excellence of Bill Brannen.  

– William Hudgins, Principal Clarinet,  Boston Symphony 

I met Bill and Linda in the fall of 1976. I  remember one repair of a crack through  a tone hole. Bill took the upper joint,  without ceremony stripped it of keys,  and then put it in the maw of this huge  Bridgeport milling machine. Without  stopping the conversation, he proceeded  to drill a huge hole in my clarinet! The  conversation became very one-sided as he  



Bill and Linda Brannen

cut a piece of Delrin to precisely fit the  hole, drill it, and then using a pad cup  tool, shaped the top so I could not tell  

anything had been done to the instrument  – in less time than it took me to park in  the crowded streets of Evanston.  

In the intervening years, I have seen  some truly gifted makers and repair people  in New England. None of them could  work with the cool efficiency and high  quality the Brannens could produce. If it  was scheduled to return on Friday, I knew  that it would arrive, and I could take it  straight to rehearsal, because it would be  perfect. In a world where many look for  the next shiny new thing, here were two  

people focused on making the same task  better each time it was performed. 

– Thomas Parchman, Principal Clarinet,  Portland Symphony; Bass Clarinet,  Rhode Island Philharmonic 

I first met Mr. William Brannen in the  summer of 1969 after my freshman year  of undergraduate school. His skill and  artistry were beyond anything I had  imagined, but I was truly crushed when  he expressed his disappointment in how  I wasn’t taking care of my instrument.  Mr. Brannen took some time to show me  some basic skills on keeping my clarinet  clean and oiled. I thought he would  

never work on my clarinet again but the  following summer he agreed to rebuild my  instrument. I was thrilled and this began  a 50-year relationship and friendship  with Bill and Linda Brannen. During my  tenure at the University of Tennessee, the  vast majority of my students played on  “Brannenized” clarinets which ultimately  made my job easier and more enjoyable.  

– Gary Sperl, Principal Clarinet,  

Knoxville Symphony 

I met Bill and Linda in the early ’70s. My  clarinet needed to have a pad replaced, and  I was told there was a clarinet repair shop  on Hinman in Evanston. I walked in, big  as life, and asked Bill about replacing a pad.  He went on a rampage about how they  look after the entire instrument, not just  one pad! He took me into the side room,  sat me down, made me clean the entire  clarinet in front of him, then he replaced  the pad as well as a couple of other things,  charged me $100, and sent me off! 

For whatever reason I came back to these  artists at least twice a year, every year until  they were done last year. I will miss the  conversations we had about music, teaching,  repair, and how he made the tools he had. 

– Robert Spring, clarinet soloist and  Arizona State University clarinet professor 

Bill and Linda gave me a musical home  from a young age and made sure I learned  the important lessons needed to progress  in my musical career. If you ever had the  opportunity to have Bill work on your  instrument you know what an immense  loss this is to our clarinet family.  

– Natalie Szabo, Chicago State University  clarinet professor  

The Brannens did far more than repair our  instruments. They were collaborators in  our musical careers. From 1969 to 2020,  Bill and Linda Brannen made sure all of  my clarinets played to their potential and  beyond. On Bill’s shoulders rested the legacy  of Arthur Goldbeck and Frank Kaspar. He  learned their methods and moved forward,  bringing the art of woodwind repair to  newer and higher levels. Thank you, Bill.  Rest (and repair) in peace. 

– David Tuttle, freelance Chicago clarinetist 

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