Could Meryl Streep play a mean clarinet? Omega Ensemble’s clarinettist reckons she could.

1. Five pieces of classical music you absolutely love?
Mozart Clarinet Concerto
Shostakovich Symphony No 5
Prokofiev Symphony No 5
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 3
Wagner Tristan and Isolde!

2. Three recordings everyone should own?
The Complete Beethoven Symphonies, Sir Simon Rattle and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mozart Clarinet Concerto with Martin Fr
The complete works of Chopin, Vladimir Ashkenazy.

3. Most underrated work by Beethoven?
His little trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano!

4. Four clarinet heroes?
Paul Meyer, Martin Fröst, Sabine Meyer and Andrew Marriner.

5. Least attractive aspect of the clarinet?
How you look when you play it, and not being able to snack during rehearsals…

6. Three books that have changed your life?
Harry Potter, A Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Michael Leunig’s Short Notes.

7. Top five non-classical musicians or groups?
Paris Combo, Jamie Cullum, Coldplay, James Morrison and Diana Krall.

8. Top five favourite films?
James Bond, Florence Foster Jenkins, Anchorman, Amelie and The Gods Must be Crazy!

9. Three favourite chamber music groups?
The Clarinotts, Nash Ensemble, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.

10. Most embarrassing moment on stage?
When I was a student at the Royal Academy of Music, I performed a lunchtime concert of Herzogenberg’s Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 43 and I produced what seemed like the loudest squeak I have ever made in my life!

11. Proudest moment on stage?
Playing the final notes in John Adams Chamber Symphony with Omega Ensemble, Australian National Academy of Music students and Paul Meyer conducting.

12. Least favourite work of classical music?
Probably Bolero, by Ravel… I think 5 minutes is enough really…

13. Five guilty pleasures?
Red Wine, Chocolate, Cocktails, Travel and Room Service.

14. Favourite food or drink after a performance?
A cold beer.

15. Which movie star would you like to see playing clarinet?
Meryl Streep, she was just incredible in Florence Foster Jenkins, she really could do anything!

16. Most mindblowing live music concert you have ever seen?
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney and hearing Mahler’s First Symphony was the most moving musical experience of my life.

17. Three favourite places in the world?
Santorini (Greece), Siena (Italy) and Cap Ferret (South of France).

18. What do you do to relax?
Travel, which is hard now with two kids under 3… I play Tennis occasionally and love to Swim.

19. Which historical composer would you commission for a clarinet concerto?
I think Beethoven would have composed an amazing Clarinet Concerto. I have heard the Violin Concerto on a recording transcribed for Clarinet, but don’t think it really works well on the Clarinet!

20. Four historical composers you would invite to dinner?
Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Chopin.

David Rowden is Artistic Director and Found of Omega Ensemble. Their next performance, Beethoven’s Seventh, is on July 11 at City Recital Hall.


Omega Ensemble has a special offer for Limelight readers. Click here to find out more.