Julian Bliss


Julian Bliss is one of the world’s finest clarinettists, excelling as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, jazz artist, masterclass leader and tireless musical explorer. He has inspired a generation of young players as creator of his Conn-Selmer range of affordable clarinets, and introduced a substantial new audience to his instrument. Julian started playing the clarinet aged four, going on to study at the University of Indiana and in Germany under Sabine Meyer, turning professional aged twelve.

In recital and chamber music he has played at most of the world’s leading festivals and venues, including Gstaad, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Verbier, Wigmore Hall (London) and Lincoln Center (New York). As a soloist, he has appeared with a wide range of international orchestras, including the Sao Paolo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Paris, Auckland Philharmonia, the London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras.

In 2010 he established the Julian Bliss Septet creating programmes inspired by King of Swing Benny Goodman and Gershwin and his contemporaries. A new programme, ‘Hooray for Hollywood’, showcases some of the greatest music from the movies. The Septet has performed to packed houses in festivals, Ronnie Scott’s (London), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and across the U.S. For the Beethoven anniversary in 2020 he has formed a new ensemble of top wind players, Bliss Wind Soloists, featuring arrangements of Beethoven’s seventh and eighth symphonies.

Album releases receive rave reviews from critics, record of the week spots and media attention. Recent projects include Mozart & Weber Quintets with the Carducci String Quartet; Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock with Christopher Glynn (piano) and Sophie Bevan (soprano); Steve Reich’s New York Counterpoint; Mozart and Nielsen’s concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia; a new piece for clarinet & string quartet by David Bruce, Gumboots, and a recital album of Russian and French composers with American pianist, Bradley Moore.

Julian has also arranged pieces for clarinet and piano, notably Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata Op. 19, the third movement of which has been set as a grade 6 piece on the new London College of Music clarinet syllabus.

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