CLARIFEST ~ Masterclasses, Ensembles & Workshops

Here’s what everyone’s up to…take a look!

James Rae

James Rae

Improving Your Performance for ABRSM & Trinity Exams

Saturday 29th 15.15-17.00

A drop in clinic session by top composer James Rae, one of Europe’s most published writers of educational wind music. Studying clarinet, bass clarinet and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he has since specialised his work into three areas- performing, writing and teaching.

With over 250 publications to his name,  published mainly by Universal Edition’s (who he is representing at ClariFest). His music includes instrumental study books, tutors, transcriptions, volumes of duets many of which are found on wind examination syllabuses worldwide as well as stand alone compositions.

This session gives you the opportunity to play Jame’s pieces to him for feedback from the composer himself as well as any exam piece(s) you would like help perfecting for the big day!

(Accompanist available during this session)


Saturday 29th 10.15am-12.30pm

From the internationally esteemed clarinettist David Campbell, recognised as one of Britain’s finest musicians; David presents a masterclass aimed at the musician who wants to achieve a ‘polished performance’ and get noticed. This session is perfect if you’ve got an audition/exam/performance coming up and you need a helping hand to get you on the right track.

David has spent most of his early career focusing on contemporary clarinet music, such as that of Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, being a member of ‘The Fires of London’. Moving into solo and chamber music in recent years, has led David to perform in over forty countries with leading orchestras and ensembles. With such a wide range of repertoire covered, he still champions new works and continually works on pieces composed specifically for him.

Passionate about music education, David, supported at ClariFest by D’Addario and Yamaha takes the clarinettist through performance techniques from the very beginning, and will bring the whole group together with an ensemble session to put everything you have learnt into practice.

David Campbell

David Cambell

Milan Rericha

Milan Rericha


Friday 28th 10.15am-12.00pm

From internationally respected clarinet virtuoso and teacher Milan Rericha a masterclass which will focus on the use of circular breathing and double tounguing in the world repertoire of clarinet music whilst also exploring expression in long phrases “bel canto”.

Milan’s career has taken him all over the world with various invitations to perform solo concerts with world renowned orchestras and chamber ensembles. Along with leading masterclasses in Italy, Switzerland and the USA, he can be seen presenting for RZ Woodwind Manufacturing (that he is here at ClariFest representing) and their Czech hand crafted clarinets.

The Eb Clarinet- How to master the tiny beast!

Friday 28th 17.00-18.30

The Principal E flat Clarinettist of the LSO Chi-Yu Mo presents a masterclass on how to approach playing the Eb clarinet. There will be opportunities to play to Chi-Yu in this workshop and get feedback, so if you’re having trouble with your Eb playing or would like some guidance on your Bb then book a slot (only 4 available, book early to avoid disappointment!).

Graduating with First Class Honours and a PhD in Chemistry from St John’s College Cambridge before turning to a musical career, Chi-Yu studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he won many prizes and awards. He was Principal E flat Clarinet initially with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, before joining the London Symphony Orchestra in 1998, subsequently gaining the Eb position in 2008.  Playing with many prestigious orchestras throughout the UK and Asia, Chi-Yu has enjoyed a varied spectrum of work with renowned conductors and soloists, not only on the Eb Clarinet but also as Principal Clarinet.

No stranger to the session world, he has recorded numerous film scores with John Williams, Patrick Doyle and Alexandre Desplat as well as playing for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games.

He has presented masterclasses and coached youth orchestras around the world as well as being a member of various audition and competition panels. Chi-Yu is currently Professor of Eb clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music, a post he has held since 2010, and Guest Clarinet Professor at Purcell School.

Chi-Yu is at ClariFest representing Buffet Crampon instruments.

Chi-Yu Mo

Chi-Yu Mo

Paul Saunders

Paul Saunders

‘So You Want to Play in Shows?’

Friday 28th 13.30-14.30

From top west end musician Paul Saunders, a workshop for the aspiring clarinettist on doubling, including a taste of what it’s like to be a pit musician. Performing in many shows throughout his career, Paul is currently performing in Wicked- showing his skills as one of the most versatile musicians on the London west end scene, playing Bb, Eb and Bass Clarinets, Soprano Saxophone.

There will be opportunities to play as a group, pieces composed by Paul and try out some pads from those clarinet heavy shows, bring a piece along to play as well and see if you’ve got what it takes to be a show musician!

(If you have any other instruments, such as soprano saxophone, flute, or any other clarinets bring them along and you’ll be able to really try out the pads as they are written, with fast changes…you’ll need to be on the ball!)

Bass Clarinet Ensemble

Friday 28th 14.45-17.00

Do you play the bass clarinet?

Then this ensemble is for you… for bass clarinetists of all abilities- whether this is your premier outing or you’re a seasoned pro, then come and play in an ensemble of basses. 

Led by professional bass clarinetist Sarah Watts here at ClariFest for Vandoren and Selmer. Get ready to be taken into bass heaven!

Sarah studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music, before going on to study bass clarinet at the Rotterdam Conservatorium. At the end of this course, sarah was awarded the Exxon prize for the best classical music student.

A prize winner at many competitions, Sarah has specialised on the bass clarinet gaining international aclaim as an artist, teacher and researcher on the instrument. Performing solo repertoire globally Sarah has attracted composers to write works for her.

In addition to setting up a solo bass clarinet course on the Isle of Raasay in Scotland, Sarah is busy running and tutoring wind and chamber music courses in the UK and France. She has given workshops on bass clarinet technique at many educational establishments around the UK. Sarah has recently completed a PhD in bass clarinet multiphonic analysis at Keele University and has published ‘Spectral Immersions; A Comprehensive Guide to the Theory and Practice of Bass Clarinet Multiphonics’ via Metropolis publishers. Sarah performs with Hard Rain Ensemble, rarescale and SCAW (Bass Clarinet & Piano Duo- You can hear them in play at ClariFest in the artist showcase on the 28th at 7pm).

Sarah is a Selmer Artist, a Vandoren UK Artist and a Silverstein Pro Artist.

Selmer Logo

Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts
Vandoren Logo

Paolo De Gaspari

Paolo Di Gaspari
Trinity Laban

It’s all about the bass

Saturday 29th 12.45-13.45

A masterclass by Paolo De Gaspari where you’ll be taken through what the bass clarinet can really do- through extended techniques, such as slaps, circular breathing, double staccato and more!

From the new generation or European virtuoso bass clarinettists, Paolo is now a leading exponent on the instrument, performing and teaching extensively throughout Europe. His career has consisted of research and development, often in partnership with composers alongside continuous study, he has extended the language of the bass clarinet effectively enabling the expression of new musical ideas raising the profile of this beautiful often underutilised instrument.

Paolo’s teaching career has taken him to many establishments, lecturing at the International Academy of Bass Clarinet in Pordenone (Italy) and from 2007 taking on the position of Visiting Professor of Clarinet at the Birmingham Conservatoire (UK). From 2016 he took the role of bass clarinet professor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of London.

Performances given by:

The Ionian Clarinet Choir

Saturday 29th 14.15-15.15

The Ionian Clarinet Choir will perform a lunchtime concert on Saturday afternoon playing a wide range of music from their extensive library with original works, commissioned works and arrangements with a full line up of clarinets from the Eb to Bb Contra Bass.

Conducted by Ian Rogers

Eb Clarinet

Adele Gordon

Bb Clarinets

1st – Ken Ruffell / Rob Wills

2nd – Jane Forder / Colin Way

3rd – Josephine Lunt / James Head

4th – Chris Timmis / Louise Johnston

Alto Clarinet

Sue Young / Rob Foreman

Bass Clarinet

Rita Porzi / Sue Dunn

Contra Alto Clarinet

Ian Merryweather

Contra Bass Clarinet

Chris Hooker

Trinity Laban Conservatoire Bass Clarinet Ensemble

We will be joined by the Bass Clarinet Ensemble for our evening concert on Friday 28th where they will perform alongside the professional artists who have given workshops during the day.

Led by bass clarinet professor Paolo De Gaspari, this bass clarinet ensemble, a group of musicans all studying at Trinity Laban come to show just how versatile the bass clarinet really is!

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