The versatile British clarinettist talks jazz, Messiaen and why he wants to try his hand at Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto.
How are you finding studying at Curtis? Scarily, it’s gone very fast. It’s been wonderful and challenging, in equal parts. There are so many challenges just being away from home, and the musical environment feels very different to Australia, but I have wonderful teachers here and there’s so much to learn. My teachers are Pamela Frank, and Ida Kavafian. My first year at Curtis, I was also studying with Joseph Silverstein, but he unfortunately died two years ago. How does it feel different to Australia? I think Australia is unique in that it feels comparatively small – all of the institutions and orchestras feel like they’re very supportive of young musicians in a very unique way. I suppose in America if you feel like you’re part of a much larger group of young musicians, the support is, perhaps, less specific. Coming to America has been very eye opening in terms of being overwhelmed by the quality of playing and the quantity of players who are so invested in music and who will do anything for a life in music. I learn as much from my friends and peers at Curtis as I do from my teachers, and that’s a wonderful