Clarinetist Dušan Sodja and pianist Tatjana Kaučič gave their first concert as Duo Claripiano in 1994. Since then, love has united them not only in music but also in life. On their path,they have been accompanied by many excellent chamber music mentors: bassoonist Božidar Tumpej, composer Ivo Petrić and pianist Anthony Spiri, with whom they were postgraduate students in chamber music class at the Cologne University of Music. Both musicians are graduates of the Ljubljana Academy of Music and gained their Master’s degrees at the Salzburg Mozarteum (with pianist Brigitte Engelhard and clarinetist Alois Brandhofer). Their professional journey has taken them to many locations including Los Angeles, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Madrid, Salzburg, Leipzig, Prague, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Armenia and China. Among their most important guest appearances are those at the Fringe Festival, the Carinthischer Sommer Festival, the Ljubljana Festival, the Academy of Chamber Music in Montepulciano, the International Music Festival in Yerevan and China Tour in 2019. Both musicians are members of the Slovenian Philharmonic.
Their friendship with Slovenian composers has led to creation of numerous pieces for clarinet and piano, including the works by Primož Ramovš, Janez Matičič, Ivo Petrić, Lojze Lebič, Ljubo Rančigaj, Tomaž Habe, Jani Golob, Nenad Firšt, Peter Šavli, Aldo Kumar, Andrej Misson, Slavko Šuklar, Črt Sojar Voglar, Blaž Pucihar, Nina Šenk, Tadeja Vulc, Katarina Pustinek, Helena Vidic and Andrej Makor. Their first album Legends featuring classic works from the 20th century was praised in the BBC Music Magazine. In 2004 they released the self-published CD “Encounters” featuring music dedicated to the Duo by Slovenian composers. Their album Romantic Claripiano presenting sonatas by romantic composers (C. Saint-Saëns, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms) was released in 2012 by the Slovenian Philharmonic’s own label and received an excellent review in The Clarinet Magazine (ICA). For their 20th Anniversary, their album 20 Claripiano was released by ZKP RTV Slovenia in 2014 and features a selection of works from Slovenian and European composers including Gerald Finzi, Marijan Lipovšek, Ljubo Rančigaj, Krzysztof Penderecki, Claude Debussy, Janez Matičič, Lojze Lebič and Witold Lutoslawski.
Their love for the 19th century romanticism has led them to collaboration with the Mendelssohn House and the Edward Grieg Association in Leipzig, where they performed in March 2011. Slovenian composers call Tatjana and Dušan “ambassadors of Slovenian music” as they include contemporary Slovenian compositions in every programme. Duo Claripiano have presented works by Slovenian composers at the ClarinetFest International Clarinet Conferences in Los Angeles, Assisi and Madrid. In 2016 they performed in Mainz at the invitation of the German Clarinet Association.
The year 2016 was dedicated to the compositions of distinguished Slovene composers (A.Makor, J.Golob, T.Habe, A.Misson, P.Savli, K.Pustinek, H.Vidic, T.Vulc) who created concert pieces following Slovenian folk motifs. In cooperation with the First Programme of the Radio Slovenia and the Publishing House of the ZKP RTV Slovenia, in August 2017, the fifth joint CD “V objemu dvojine” (Dual Embrace) came out, and a notes collection was published by the editions of the Society of Slovene Composers. In 2018 they premiered the new Concerto for Clarinet, Piano and Strings “Claripiano” by Jani Golob (cond. Johannes Wildner, Orchestra of the National Opera Maribor) and Christmas Cantate for Clarinet, Piano and Mixed Choir by Andrej Makor (cond. Helena Fojkar Zupančič, St. Nicolas Choir). In May 2019 Concerto “TaDu” for Clarinet, Piano and Wind Orchestra by Tomaž Habe was premiered with the Slovenian Police Wind Orchestra (cond. Nejc Bečan). They toured through China five prvovinces in summer 2019.
Dušan Sodja has been performing on clarinets made by https://www.schwenk-und-seggelke.de from Bamberg (Germany) and is a D’Addario artist.