Anthony’s Music Story
I have built up a varied and stimulating career, working with some of the UK’s top orchestras, chamber musicians and soloists. Growing up, I was fortunate to have excellent teachers from the very beginning, and attended Westminster School as both a Music Scholar and a Queens Scholar, where my clarinet teacher was David Campbell. My parents are both great amateur musicians, and music was always around, but it was only in my late teens that I realised I wanted to pursue a career in music. The two factors that pulled me in this direction were discovering my love of composing, and joining the London Schools Symphony Orchestra as principal clarinet. Not yet sure which I wanted to follow, I decided to keep as many doors open for as long as possible, and did a one-year gap year course at Trinity Laban in order to study with Michael Whight. He instilled in me the level of discipline and critical thinking I would need if I wanted to take clarinet further whilst at university.
I read Music at the University of Cambridge, where alongside my academic degree there was a wonderful and almost manic amount of music going on all the time, including students from every discipline. I probably played in many more concerts than I would have done in the more competitive arena of a conservatoire undergrad. I had funding from my college to go down to London for lessons regularly during term time (mostly with David Campbell and Michael Whight), and I spent every vacation period playing in orchestra projects run by young conductors or my friends who had gone to conservatoire in London. This meant I was in a good position to audition for postgraduate study at conservatoire, having decided that performing was the route I wanted to follow.
I completed a two-year MA at the Royal Academy of Music, which had a very selective, small clarinet department compared with the other UK conservatoires. It was partly this and partly the teachers that appealed to me: I studied with the London Symphony Orchestra’s clarinet section (Chris Richards, Chi Yu Mo and Lorenzo Iosco) as well as Angela Malsbury and Laurent Ben Slimane. I focused hard on technique during this period; it felt like I had two years to fix any remaining problems in my playing before going out into the profession. I feel like I largely achieved this, but in reality, the studying never stops. I have studied extensively since graduating, mostly in Paris with Patrick Messina, who has helped me to push myself even further. Lessons can also yield professional opportunities – playing to a colleague is often an informal audition. Alongside professional playing work, I organise concert series, write about music and teach.