Spotlight on Joseph Shiner

This month, we’re getting to know clarinettist Joseph Shiner who will be giving a recital as part of CMF’s Rhyme & Reason Concert Series on Wednesday 13th May.


Describe yourself in 3 words:  
I left this question until last, but then it occurred to me I’d already answered it on my Twitter handle: Clarinettist, country-bumpkin (turned city-dweller), and coffee-addict.

Who do you usually perform with?
I perform solo, often with pianist Frederick Brown; with my wind quintet ‘Magnard Ensemble’, or freelance with orchestras.

What has been a performance highlight in your career so far?
My final course as principal of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain was the most perfect three weeks imaginable – so many cherished memories. The principal’s ensemble played John Adam’s Chamber Symphony and Copland’s Appalachian Spring under Pablo Heras-Casado, and the full orchestra performed Copland’s monumental 3rd Symphony with Antonio Pappano live on BBC2 at the BBC Proms, with my closest friends. As formative musical experiences go, rehearsing and performing the Weber Quintet op. 34 during my final year at university with the Endellion String Quartet was thrilling, terrifying and enlightening in equal measure, as was performing the Copland Concerto in Wells surrounded by my family and friends (as well as my first piano teacher)!

What is coming up in the diary that you are most looking forward to? 
The YCAT public final! I’m not sure if ‘looking forward’ is the best way to describe my feelings towards that particular concert, but we’ll go with it.

Do you have a favourite performer? What type of concerts/gigs do you regularly attend? 
Three spring to mind (apologies!): Joyce Didonato, for her enthusiasm and advocacy of an utterly positive and healthy approach to her art; Mitsuko Uchida, for the depth of her musical thought; Edith Piaf, for the authenticity and power of her expression.  Most often I go to opera: I crave that moment when I am taken out of my theatre seat and into a completely new world; with characters and stories in whom I am completely emotionally invested. More often than not it doesn’t happen, but when it does, it’s all worth it.

You’re also an educator, how important is this role within your work? 
As much as I hope to inspire, challenge and advise – I myself am also continually inspired, challenged, and advised, and therefore I regard any educational work that I do – be it private teaching or larger-scale musical outreach as being a hugely important – if not the most important strand of my career.

How did you find out about CMF and why did you decide to apply?   
I think I had vaguely heard it mentioned through other word of mouth, but truthfully I think it popped up in a Google Search when I was browsing various arts organisations! I remember being frustrated at having just missed the auditions for their first intake, so CMF sat obstinately on my list as a ‘to-do’ item until applications opened for the following year.

What has CMF done for you since being a CMF artist?  
Plentiful opportunities for networking, skills development and engagements; a friendly, sympathetic and proactive support network; not to mention a whole new set of friends and colleagues!

What are your hopes for the future?  
To lead a happy life surrounded and saturated by music – and to make a living from it.

Finally, your 3 desert island discs? 
Jessye Norman singing Strauss’ Four Last Songs with Kurt Masur and Leipzig Gewandhaus, Claudio Abbado’s Daphnis et Chloe with the LSO, and Earth, Wind and Fire’s Greatest Hits.




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