Jordan Black

Clarinet Teacher and Performer

Jordan’s Music Story

Jordan did not come from a musical family, but it was his brother’s decision to start the flute that encouraged him to start the clarinet. He was aged seven and living in Nairobi, Kenya. He started lessons at school and played in several woodwind ensembles and groups.

When Jordan was aged eleven, his parents moved back to the UK and Jordan attended Monkton Combe School and continued playing the clarinet, getting involved in the county orchestra and school band. Encouraged to pursue his musical talent, he started attending the Royal College of Music Junior Department at age of fifteen. It was not long till Jordan knew that music was his passion and so applied and successfully got a place at the Purcell Music School. This set him up to then attend the Royal Academy of Music for his Undergraduate Degree where he achieved first class honours, followed by a Chamber Music Fellowship.

As well as teaching, Jordan has had a fantastic career performing…
Guest Principal with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, London Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Worked for the Royal Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, London Conchord Ensemble, Ensemble Cymru and Notus Winds
Appeared as a soloist with the Orchestra of the Swan, the London Mozart Players and the Bristol Ensemble.
Performed as chamber musician at the Wigmore Hall, Clarence House, St Martin in the Fields, the Purcell Room and Brazil’s Festival de Inverno.

Jordan currently teaches privately and coaches chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music Junior department. In addition, Jordan still supports his African roots and has taught on the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya Residential Scheme. He has also given workshops in schools for the Concordia Foundation and worked with young composers on the Sound and Music Summer School.

"It is such a versatile instrument! You can play in an orchestra, chamber group or even a folk or jazz group."

What was the Purcell School like?

It was very motivating and extremely competitive. It was an amazing experience, and you were really given the time to practice and develop your playing! It was also great to be surrounded by like-minded people who were equally passionate about music.

How did you decide to go to the Royal Academy of Music?

I liked the way that the Royal Academy of Music was run as an institution and so that was my preference. Once I had completed my Undergraduate Degree, I did a Chamber Music Fellowship and continued to study with as many different teachers as possible and develop my playing.

How did you fund your way through to become a professional musician?

There are lots of schemes out there to help musicians fund their studies and instruments. I have been fortunate enough to receive support from the Hattori Foundation, Martin Music Scholarship Fund, David and Mary Bowerman, John and Rosemary Lancaster and from the EMI Music Sound Foundation.

Who has been your most inspiring teacher?

I couldn’t single out a particular person as I have been lucky to have great teachers along the way who have all contributed to my success. Some to mention though are Timothy Lines, Mark Van de Wiel, Andrew Marriner, Patrick Messina, and Guy Cowley. More recently I have also had lessons in Sweden and Los Angeles with Yehuda Gilad.

Why would you recommend the clarinet to people to play?

It is such a versatile instrument! You can play in an orchestra, chamber group or even a folk or jazz group.

What age should someone start playing the clarinet?

Any age of course but the earliest you should start would be about age 7 or 8.

What instrument do you play, and do you have any music shops you would recommend?

I play on Peter Eaton Clarinets and would recommend going to Howarth of London for woodwind accessories or Chimes for sheet music.

What is a great piece to listen to for people considering starting the clarinet?

The Clarinet Concerto by Aaron Copland. It’s a thriller!

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