Category: Orchestras

Beethoven 3 – from memory…


This is quite a daunting musical challenge…learning Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony from memory! I’ll put myself to the test in performances with the Aurora Orchestra ┬áin Cambridge, at the BBC Proms and on tour in Amsterdam and La Cote-St-Andre over the summer…

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / Bootleg Beatles


To celebrate 50 years since the Beatles released their groundbreaking album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the RLPO are putting on a show with the Bootleg Beatles tribute band to recreate the album (and other songs from the summer of 1967) in symphonic form. So far we’ve played to full houses in Liverpool, Birmingham and the Albert Hall, and have dates in Manchester, Nottingham, and at Festival Number 6 in Wales yet to come.

I particularly like the “updated” album cover with faces from the RLPO making a cameo appearances in the backound!

Sgt Pepper

Paris – visit to Buffet Crampon


The RLPO had a concert at Paris’s new concert hall, the “Philharmonie” at the end of November. It’s a fantastic building with a great acoustic, and we played an all-Rachmaninov programme to a full hall.

While we were in France, I took the opportunity to visit the Buffet Crampon HQ in Mantes-la-Jolie with Buffet rep Tim Barrett and fellow clarinettist Jernej Albrecht. It’s amazing to think that something like 70% of the world’s clarinets are made in the unprepossessing factory!

I was looked after extremely well by the Buffet team and came away with a new pair of RC Prestige clarinets which I’m very excited about – it’s taking some patience to “break them in” but I hope to be playing on them full-time soon. Thanks too to Tom at Windstruments who facilitated the visit for me.

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Beethoven marathon


An busy start to the RLPO season…all 9 of Beethoven’s symphonies, plus the violin concerto with James Ehnes, in the space of three weeks!

Review in The Guardian

Beautiful music, but equally I’m looking forward to playing something else next week (reed trios, klezmer, Shostakovich…)!

RLPO in Sheffield


I fulfilled a mini personal ambition at the beginning of June, when the RLPO played in my home town of Sheffield for the first time since I joined the orchestra nearly 5 years ago. And what’s more, my dad was singing in the choir that night! An all-Vaughan Williams concert at Sheffield City Hall.


Cream Classics


It’s not every day that a classical musician gets to feel like a pop star, but last month the RLPO played to thousands in collaboration with Cream at Liverpool Cathedral. With a noisily appreciative crowd, well stocked bar, smoke, lighting and amazing lazer show not to mention the array of DJs, singers and electronics behind us, this was a very different gig to a usual night in the Phil!

There’s a review and a video of the rehearsal here