A belated Happy New Year! Despite these challenging times and constant uncertainty, especially for the Arts, I feel fortunate to have ended 2020 being inspired once again by the young clarinettists of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Having coached their spring course, coming back for this winter course and seeing everyone’s development inspired me to set my own determinations to grow and learn in 2021, as well as work to foster and support the next generation.
Last week I was very happy to receive a copy of the International Clarinet Association‘s The Clarinet magazine, where there is a 3-page feature interview and a shorter contribution in the pedagogy section. The full interview can also be found here, and I’m so grateful to Chastine for her time over zoom for this.
The pedagogy article is written by Phillip O. Paglialonga, who I first met during ClariMania, a clarinet festival in Poland. I remember one lunch sitting in a restaurant and speaking with Phil and another colleague for nearly 2 hours about reeds! His article is brilliant, and I feel lucky to have shared thought alongside esteemed clarinettists such as Philippe Cuper, a clarinettist I admire hugely. Philippe’s recording of the Francaix Clarinet Concerto remains my favourite rendition to this day.
The question I contributed to was “How can we become better artists?”
I’m sure a million artists will give a million different answers, and even one person will give different answers on different days. My answer at the time of writing was to listen widely, attend events you wouldn’t usually attend, actively reach out to everyone you admire (whether they are musicians, authors, anyone!) and enjoy conversations with people. Keep searching, questioning, and remain curious throughout your life.
With this in mind, and as part of my wish to spotlight the next generation, I am planning to have a catch-up with my past students to see what they are up to, and share here on this Little Reed. So do keep your eyes peeled!