“I really enjoy how the ligature allows for a resonant tone and for easy response and tone control.”
Clarinetist Barbara Heilmair is Associate Professor of Clarinet & Music at the Portland State University School of Music as well as Associate Dean for the College of the Arts. She holds degrees in Clarinet Performance and in Instrumental Pedagogy from the University of Music and Performing Arts “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, along with M.M. and D.M.A. degrees from UCLA.
In addition to her work at the university, she maintains an international career as performer, scholar, and educator.
With her trio s’Zwitscherl with two clarinets and piano, Barbara Heilmair has regularly performed in Germany and the United States since 2015. The trio’s brand-new Centaur label CD s’Zwitscherl – Music for Two Clarinets and Piano presents newly arranged music and the combination of German and Boehm clarinets.
Dr. Heilmair has specialized in the field of Clarinet Choir and in the research of underrepresented composers. Her work with clarinet choirs has led her to Austria and Spain where she joined the Austrian Clarinet Choir as a guest conductor and performer and during the 2015 ICA ClarinetFest in Madrid. She has presented on clarinet ensemble pedagogy at venues such as the Oregon Music Educators Association Conference (OMEA) and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference (NACWPI).
In 2017, Barbara Heilmair has founded the Zephyr Clarinet Choir in Portland, Oregon. In 2019, she conducted a 100-players strong colossal clarinet choir during the Chamber Music Northwest “Clarinet Celebration” in Portland, Oregon. The Zephyr Clarinet choir is being broadcasted on the ”All Classical Portland” radio station in October, 11, 2020.
Curating and promoting Austrian composer Franz Cibulka’s musical heritage, Heilmair has premiered several of his works (Claroness in Madrid Version, s’Zwitscherl for Two, and 2. Bläserquintett (U.S.), and has published an edition of Claroness with Jeannée, Inc.
Dr. Heilmair has taught, presented, and performed at workshops and festivals around the world, including at the University of Melbourne and the Monash University in Melbourne/ Australia (2008), the Musikhochschule in Munich/ Germany (2010), the College Music Society’s Regional conference in Vancouver/ B.C. (2011), the ICA ClarinetFest in Madrid/ Spain (2015), or the Loures Clarinet Academy in Loures/ Portugal (2019). She has had the privilege to closely work with clarinetists such as Gary Gray, Antonio Saiote, Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Dimitri Ashkenazy, David Shifrin, Richard Hawkins, Aude Camus, Sunny Kang, Laura Ardan, Frank Kowalski, in addition to many others.
Locally, she is an active member of the Pacific Northwest music scene. She is Bass Clarinetist for the Vancouver Symphony and has played with other local ensembles such as the Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Opera, Opera Theater Oregon, Bridgeport Orchestra, and Cascadia Composers. Regional festival appearances include the Astoria Music Festival, Portland Summer Fest, Oregon Music Festival, and Chamber Music Northwest.