London-based clarinetist, teacher, coach, mentor and Founder/Artistic Director of acclaimed chamber ensemble CHROMA
Performing and teaching are two sides of the same coin; chance to listen, learn and share a love of music and its transformative power.
I have always lived my life saying 'yes' to opportunity; sometimes before having any idea if I can deliver 'the goods'. I have never had cause to regret this instinctive impulse. My career has been a fantastic adventure thus far, with so many twists and turns that when I look back I am amazed at all the incredible experiences I have had and all the phenomenal artists with whom I have had the privilege of working. Everything flows from positivity and being open to learn.
I started playing the clarinet at the tender age of nine and it quickly became my obsession and passion. At the age of fifteen I was fortunate enough to be introduced to eminent clarinettist Joy Farrall who agreed to teach me in preparation for gaining a place at music college in London. With her expert guidance and rigorous approach I was offered scholarships to all the Conservatoires for which I auditioned. I only had eyes for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama however and began my Bachelor of Music degree in 1993.
No sooner had I started my degree than I won the Woodwind Prize and competed in the Concerto Final, of the 1994 BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, which opened the door to tremendous opportunity and jump-started a multi-faceted career that is richly rewarding and more diverse than I could ever have dreamed possible.
I studied clarinet with Joy Farrall, Dame Thea King and Andrew Webster whilst working towards my Bachelor of Music degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. These three titans of the clarinet world instilled in me a drive to succeed and nurtured my early promise with incredible care.
In 1997 I won the Wind & Brass Prize and competed as a Finalist in the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition and graduated with a First Class degree from the GSMD. After a summer spent studying at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada on an English Speaking Union scholarship, I began forming a collective of artists that evolved into the acclaimed chamber ensemble CHROMA.
As Founder and Artistic Director of CHROMA, I have the incredible pleasure of making music with my closest friends and artists from a wide variety of artistic genres including beatboxing, dance, electronica, opera, knitting, spinning, folk and virtual reality. The name CHROMA comes from the title of a book by artist, film-maker and activist Derek Jarman, who was and continues to be a huge inspiration.
Contemporary Music has always been a passion of mine since my student days. Working closely with composers to create new works is a thrilling experience and I have had the pleasure to premiere hundreds of pieces written for me, CHROMA or with other leading new music ensembles. Click here for a list of some of the works that have been a highlight.
I have performed at all the UKs main concert halls and most of the leading festivals. I have performed in Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Dubai, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malta, Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.
Alongside my career as a performer I have developed my passion for teaching and mentoring. One-on-one tuition, creative workshops, composition guidance, performance and performance practice, chamber music coaching, composition, arranging and orchestral mentoring all make up my portfolio.
I have been Head of Woodwind and Percussion at Highgate School, London since 2011, heading up a team of eleven Visiting Music Teachers with direct responsibility for 200+ pupils across the three schools of the Foundation in Years 2-13. I am proud to have been a part of the Highgate community for ten years, in which time the school has celebrated its 450th anniversary and been awarded three awards in 2019 and 2020 for Independent School of the Year and London Independent School of the Decade.
I have long-standing relationships with the Royal Academy of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London and Oxford University. I have led CHROMA workshops or been invited as guest lecturer at the Universities of Durham, Nottingham and Hertfordshire, the Royal Northern College of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, the National Opera Studio, Trinity College, Dublin and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2019 I started a new and exciting relationship with the Yehudi Menuhin School.
I play exclusively on Selmer Paris clarinets.