Bio Barbara Heilmair

A devoted educator, clarinetist Dr. Barbara Heilmair engages communities as a clarinet professor, performer, and teaching artist. She serves as Professor of Clarinet & Music History at the Portland State University School of Music as well as Associate Dean for the College of the Arts.

Her trio “s’Zwitscherl” with Rolf Weber and Kazue Tsuzuki consists of musicians from three different nations, playing music for two clarinets and piano. Their recent CD “s’Zwitscherl – Music for Two Clarinets and Piano” presents newly arranged music and the combination of German and French clarinet systems (Centaur, 2021).

An avid orchestral and chamber musician, Barbara Heilmair is Bass Clarinetist for the Vancouver Symphony and has played with other Northwest ensembles such as the Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Opera, Opera Theater Oregon, Bridgeport Orchestra, and Cascadia Composers. Festival appearances include Chamber Music Northwest,  Oregon Music Festival, Astoria Music Festival, and Portland Summer Fest.

She has given masterclasses and presentations at the University of Melbourne and the Monash University in Melbourne/ Australia, the Musikhochschule in Munich/ Germany, the College Music Society’s Regional Conference in Vancouver/ B.C., the Lourès Clarinet Academy in Lourès/ Portugal, and at several ICA ClarinetFests, in addition to ongoing collaboration with other clarinet studios and schools in the U.S.

Ms. Heilmair has collaborated with such distinguished artists such as Gary Gray, Antonio Saiote, Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Dimitri Ashkenazy, David Shifrin, Richard Hawkins, Aude Camus, Seunghee Lee, and Laura Ardan.

Dr. Heilmair has specialized in the field of Clarinet Choir and in the research of underrepresented composers. In 2017, she co-founded the Zephyr Clarinet Choir in Portland, Oregon. Under her baton, the group has participated in the “Colossal Clarinet Choir” event during the 2019 “Chamber Music Northwest Clarinet Celebration” and has been featured in All Classical Portland’s radio show “Played in Oregon” (89.9 FM). Curating and promoting Austrian composer Franz Cibulka’s musical heritage, Heilmair has premiered several of his works and has published a new edition of his “Claroness” (Jeanné, 2019). Her research has been published in the “Clarinet”, “Clarinet & Saxophone”, and “NACWPI Journal” magazines.

A native of Munich/ Germany, Dr. Heilmair regularly enjoys interdisciplinary collaboration with the German Immersion Program in Portland (“Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik”).

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.