Cornelius Shinzen Boots is an award-winning composer and performs internationally. He is a bass clarinet performance specialist, a Zen shakuhachi and Taimu bamboo flute expert, and a devotee of the Respirational Arts. Since 1996 he has led and written virtuosic “heavy chamber music” for Edmund Welles, the world’s only original bass clarinet quartet, for which he has composed and arranged over 60 pieces, and with which he has released four albums and an instructional CD ROM. The quartet had featured recitals at Clarinetfests in 2013, 2011 and 2008, Switchboard Music Festivals 2008 and 2009, received a Chamber Music America New Works grant in 2004, and has shared the stage with Medeski, Martin and Wood, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Extra Action Marching Band.
Cornelius has music degrees from Indiana University (BM Clarinet Performance '97, BS Audio Recording '97, MM Jazz Studies '99) where he studied with Howard Klug, David Baker, Alfred Prinz, David Pickett and Wayne Jackson. He currently records and instructs on flutes, saxophones and clarinets throughout the Bay Area and can be heard on albums by The Kehoe Nation, Faun Fables, Lasher Keen and others. He has presented classes at San Francisco Conservatory, Cal Arts, and UCLA, and has been teaching privately since 1997. In 2012, he was commissioned to compose Chthonic Flute Suite for Areon Flutes, and was featured on film scores: Cicada Princess, Visions of Mustang, and Beard Club. His composition Invisible Orthodoxy for Bb clarinet and tape won first prize in the 2013 International Clarinet Association Composition Competition and was premiered by Stephan Vermeersch in Assisi, Italy.
He writes for shakuhachi flutes in the kinko Japanese calligraphic notation, has created an instructional method for the rare Taimu (wide-bore, bass) shakuhachi and founded and produced two albums with the elemental sound-structuring ensemble, Sabbaticus Rex. On 11/12/13 Cornelius received his Shihan (master teaching license) on shakuhachi from his teacher of over 12 years, Grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould and was given the Zen shakuhachi name "Shinzen" (depth Zen or deep Zen). Cornelius is a Vandoren performing artist and a Mujitsu Shakuhachi affiliate.