Donald T. Foster is one of Southern California’s most active musicians, serving as the second clarinetist in the LA Opera Orchestra and as principal clarinetist of both the Pasadena and Santa Barbara Symphonies. He is a frequent auxiliary/substitute musician with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Diego Symphony, and can be heard often as part of the Jacaranda Chamber Music Series in Santa Monica. A frequent studio musician, he has been featured on numerous soundtracks for motion pictures and television.
He graduated from the University of Southern California, receiving his master of music degree in 1996 while in the studios of Yehuda Gilad and Michele Zukovsky. He has received Fellowships from both the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals, the latter of which he attended for four consecutive summers.
Prior engagements include serving as principal clarinet with the Philharmonie der Nationen based in Hamburg, Germany, with whom he performed in over 250 concerts in virtually every major city in Europe. He has also served as principal clarinet of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado. He has been featured in Central America with his reed trio Trianche as a featured ensemble for the Costa Rica Music Festival, and can be heard on the critically acclaimed recording of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Inauthentica Ensemble and soprano Jennifer Goltz. Solo appearances include the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the Santa Barbara Symphony under the baton of Nir Kabaretti and the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Pasadena Symphony and Nicholas McGegan.
He is an associate professor of music at Moreno Valley College in the Riverside Community College District and divides his time sharing residences in Palm Springs and the Silver Lake area of LA with his husband Josh and their fat cat Greta.