My teachers have always tried to get me to take more risks with my playing, communicate with my audience more, and be more expressive. Trade Winds has effectively taught me all of these things. Thanks to TWE, I have emotions and circumstances to draw on that I never would have had otherwise; I’m both confident and vulnerable, fearless and humble.
— Brian Gnojek

Brian Gnojek

Pauls Foundation Clarinet Chair

Clarinetist, Co-Founder

Brian Gnojek is a freelance clarinetist and teacher in Madison, WI. Brian has performed as a substitute musician with the Houston, Fort Worth, Kansas City, New World, San Antonio, and Wichita Symphony orchestras. From 2010-2012, he held a position as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In 2010, Mr. Gnojek was selected by unanimous vote as the winner of the Orchestral Audition Competition held by the International Clarinet Association. Mr. Gnojek has performed as a solo and chamber artist in the Austin, Kansas City, Chicago, and New York City areas, including recitals as a guest artist at the University of Kansas. During his studies in the Manhattan School of Music’s orchestral performance program, Brian performed under world-famous conductors and at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center.

Brian is passionate about musical outreach, within his own communities and internationally. In addition to his work with Trade Winds, Brian has also volunteered in the Philippines and southern India as a volunteer with Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP). Brian was also a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s MusiCorps woodwind quintet, which performed interactive concerts in schools and public venues throughout Chicago.

Brian has taught privately for much of his career, from beginning students to master classes at the university level. He wrote his own fundamentals book, “Basic Skills for Clarinet,” which he hopes to make available to the public soon.

Brian is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at UW-Madison. Prior to that, he earned a Professional Studies Certificate in Orchestral Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance from Florida State University, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Minnesota.