Anthony Friend, Artistic Director
Photo by Matthew Johnson
Anthony Friend is a clarinettist who has been praised for his “delicious” playing (The Times), his “liquid tone” (Seen and Heard International) and performances that are “energised and raunchy, but not too much” (The Telegraph). Anthony’s chamber music collaborators have included string quartets such as the Allegri, Solem, Maxwell and Philharmonia Orchestra quartets, pianists Alexander Ullman, Karim Said, Joseph Havlat and Florian Mitrea, cellist Laura van der Heijden, double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, the Pelléas Ensemble and the Magnard Ensemble. In 2019 he was invited to give the annual Concerto per Peggy at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, at which he performed the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with the Philharmonia Orchestra string quartet.
As an orchestral musician he has worked with conductors such as Simon Rattle, Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner, Sakari Oramo, Kirill Petrenko and Mark Wigglesworth. He regularly freelances with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC 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 series. He has played Terry Riley’s In C at King’s Place with Katia and Marielle Labèque, has given numerous world premieres and has worked with groups such as the Hermes Experiment, the Riot Ensemble and Ensemble x.y.
Aside from his performing, he founded the world-class series Spotlight Chamber Concerts in 2020, for which he received an award from the Royal Philharmonic Society, and writes programme notes and liner notes for major international concert halls and record labels.
Anthony studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and then at the Royal Academy of Music with Angela Malsbury, and Chris Richards, Lorenzo Iosco and Chi-Yu Mo of the London Symphony Orchestra. He previously studied with David Campbell and Michael Whight. His subsequent studies have been with Patrick Messina and Pascal Moraguès in Paris.