Anthony Friend, Artistic Director

Anthony Friend - 1 credit William Marsey

Anthony Friend is a clarinettist and concert promoter who founded the Bandstand Chamber Festival in 2020, and has subsequently launched Spotlight Chamber Concerts. He joins the Maxwell String Quartet in a performance of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet on 28 November.

His playing has been praised as “delicious” (The Times) and “energised and raunchy, but not too much” (The Telegraph). Anthony’s chamber music collaborators have included the Allegri, Solem and Maxwell quartets, the Philharmonia Chamber Players quartet, pianists Karim Said, Joseph Havlat and Florian Mitrea, violist Ásdís Valdimarsdóttir, harpist Oliver Wass, double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, the Pelléas Ensemble and wind quintets Cavendish Winds and the Magnard Ensemble. As an orchestral musician he has worked with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam and Mark Wigglesworth. He regularly freelances with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera, and was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in 2017. He has been broadcast on BBC radio and television and played in major venues in the UK and abroad.


A keen exponent of contemporary and twentieth-century music, he is co-founder of Filthy Lucre, an immersive, mixed-genre new music night which moves from concert to club night. He has played Terry Riley’s In C at King’s Place with Katia and Marielle Labèque, and has worked with groups such as the Hermes Experiment, the Riot Ensemble and Ensemble x.y.


Aside from his performing, he runs the prestigious chamber music series Camerata Musica Cambridge, and writes programme notes for major artists and series such as the Aldeburgh Festival.


Anthony studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and then at the Royal Academy of Music with Angela Malsbury, Chris Richards, Lorenzo Iosco and Chi-Yu Mo. He previously studied with David Campbell and Michael Whight. His subsequent studies have been with Patrick Messina in Paris.

Photo by William Marsey