Oskar Espina-Ruiz of UNC School of the Arts 7/13/12

Oskar Espina Ruiz
Artistic Director
Music Mountain

Clarinet Faculty at the
University of North Carolina School of the Arts

“Mr. Espina Ruiz is a phenomenal clarinetist – a subtle and discreet virtuoso whose dynamic control matched that of the string quartet.”


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.

Oskar Espina-Ruiz has appeared in concert with the American, Shanghai, Cassatt, Escher and Daedalus string quartets, the Quintet of the Americas, pianists Victoria Schwartzman, Benjamin Hochman, Ursula Oppens and Anthony Newman, cellist David Geber (founder, American String Quartet) and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra artists. His concerto appearances include the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony (Russia), St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic (Russia), Orquesta Sinfónica de la Ciudad de Asunción (Paraguay) and Bilbao Symphony (Spain).

During the 2018-2019 season Oskar Espina-Ruiz is releasing a new album for clarinet and piano with pianist Victoria Schwartzman, featuring works by Spanish-Basque composers Arriaga, Isasi and Donostia. Other highlights of the season include premiering chamber music works by David Ludwig and Carolina Heredia, and working on a new clarinet concerto dedicated to him by composer Alfonso Fuentes, partially previewed at the Music Mountain Academy in 2018.

He 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.” He has been described by the press as a “masterful soloist” and a “highly expressive” clarinetist.

He holds a DMA from Stony Brook University, where his major teachers were Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima.

Oskar Espina-Ruiz is artistic director of the Music Mountain Festival since 2016, and the Treetops Chamber Music Society since 2006, both in Connecticut. Since 2011, he is also clarinet artist faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, while keeping a busy concert schedule.