Although utopia means "nowhere," we think clarinet quartets should be everywhere — our goal is to present live performances of music for any combination of four clarinets. We play at parties, street fairs, and other events. We have more than 100 pieces in our active repertoire, which spans several centuries and includes compositions written specifically for our instruments, transcriptions of famous string quartets, and arrangements of jazz and pop standards. When not "quartetting," the members of Utopia Winds perform with orchestras, opera companies, and other ensembles in the New York area. Collectively, we have decades of professional experience.
Leslie Jay has played in venues ranging from Grand Central Terminal and public libraries to Alice Tully, Merkin, Weill, and Town Halls. Her resume includes performances with the Amato Opera, Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra, Concert Pops of Long Island, Dobbs Ferry Opera, New Rochelle Opera, New York Debut Orchestra, and Opera Northeast, among other ensembles, as well as a joint recital in Chengdu, China, with faculty at Sichuan University. Currently she is a member of the Richmond County Orchestra and its affiliate, the Riverside Opera Company, both in Staten Island. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale. She taught single-reed instruments at Bayside School of Music and Art for four years before accepting an editorial job at Queens College, where she writes about the performing arts. A novice gardener, Leslie is proud of the pesto she makes from homegrown basil and parsley.
Stefan Kristinkov took up clarinet in his native Latvia, where his teachers included Arnold Pope (principal/solo, Latvian Philharmonic) and Vitally Vorobiov (principal, Latvian Opera). He holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Igor Begelman; now he is working on a Master’s in Music Theory and Composition from New York University. A versatile instrumentalist with expertise in many genres, Stefan has performed with the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Latvian Philharmonic, The Groove of the Nile (HdKdW, Berlin, Germany), Los Amigos (Mapls, Riga, Latvia), I Gitanos (with Bauv and Lulo Reinhard, Koblenz, Germany), Cantor Baruch Ben Meyer (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), and MJZ Ensemble (New York, USA), among other groups. A composer and arranger with a deep interest in ethnomusicology, he has won awards in international songwriting competitions.
Daniel Padmos received a Bachelor's in Music Performance from New York University, where he studied with Esther Lamneck and Larry Guy, and a Master's Degree in Music Performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Chad Burrow and Daniel Gilbert. In New York, Daniel has performed at Juilliard's Paul Hall, the Swedish Church of New York, the Tank, ISSUE Project Room, Monkey Town, and the streets of Chelsea for Make Music New York. Michigan gave him the opportunity to play improvisational repertoire with the UMich Creative Arts Orchestra, serve as a mentor to the Detroit Civic Youth Orchestra, and take master classes with Julianne Kirk of the Crane School of Music and Julia Heinen of California State University. Daniel’s resume includes the Lake George Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, Project Opera of Manhattan, the Gilbert and Sullivan Orchestra (Michigan branch), the Eastern Festival Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlantic Music Festival. A certified personal trainer, he is a dedicated “Lunatic”—someone who runs in Luna sandals, a modern version of Tarahumara footwear.
Larry Seltzer holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Leon Russianoff and Charles Russo. Larry has performed in and around New York with such organizations as the Absolute Ensemble, Broadway Bach Ensemble, Camerata New York, New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and New England Symphonic Ensemble. In October 2008, he was a member of the chamber orchestra that provided taped and live music for NY.2022, a critically acclaimed Soylent Green-inspired installation at the Guggenheim Museum. Larry plays clarinet and bass clarinet in the Richmond County Orchestra and Riverside Opera Company. An accomplished a cappella vocalist, he has sung in Carnegie Hall and was part of a barbershop quartet that performed the national anthem in Shea Stadium during its last season.