Basque Composers From Spain and France.
Expanding the clarinet repertoire.
Oskar Espina Ruiz, clarinet
Miroslava Panayotova , piano
OSKAR ESPINA RUIZ, CLARINET
Born in Spain, where he did eight years of Conservatory studies, and based in New York City for the
past twenty years, Oskar Espina Ruiz has performed at major concert halls and festivals to high
critical acclaim, including concerto performances at the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia,
and recitals in New York City, Washington DC, Moscow, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong
Kong. His chamber music collaborations include the American, Shanghai, Cassatt, Escher and
Espina Ruiz has recorded for the Bridge, Kobaltone and Prion labels, receiving high critical acclaim
by fellow clarinetists Richard Stoltzman and Charles Neidich for his solo recording “Julián Menéndez
Rediscovered.” Charles Neidich calls Espina Ruiz “an unusually gifted musician who has already
made a mark in the musical world and is becoming one of the most distinguished clarinetists in the
US.” Richard Stoltzman wrote: “Bravo! You are and have the kind of energy the music world needs.”
Espina Ruiz devotes much of his time to musical research. His work on Spanish Post-Romantic
composer Julián Menéndez brought him the first prize of the International Clarinet Association
Research Competition in 2006, later writing an article for the March 2007 issue of “The Clarinet”
magazine, and led to the acquisition of one of Menéndez's clarinets by the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, for its Musical Instruments Galleries —currently on display at its permanent collection, including a
photo and biography of Menéndez next to Benny Goodman's.
Born in Bilbao, Spain, his first musical training came at an early age performing on Basque folk
instruments. He later pursued the traditional conservatory training as a clarinetist and often performed
with the Bilbao Symphony, as its youngest member, at age sixteen. He came to New York City in
1991 to further his studies in clarinet and won the top clarinet prizes at the Olga Koussevitzky and
Artists International competitions.
He holds a DMA from Stony Brook University and is clarinet artist faculty at the University of North
Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston-Salem, NC, while keeping a busy concert schedule. Since
2006, he is artistic director of the Treetops Chamber Music Society, in Stamford, CT.