Conductor and trumpeter Chris Clark received an Arts Excellence Award from the DMMF Christchurch Committee in 2012 before heading overseas for study. Here he shares his many success since then.
I write to you from Manchester where I recently graduated with Distinction from the Royal Northern College of Music with a Master of Music in Solo Trumpet Performance and Conducting.
My main mentors included Murray Greig, John Miller, John Dickinson, Tom Osborne (trumpet) and Mark Heron (conducting). The RNCM offers incredible opportunities within the College and with its professional partners throughout the UK and the EU. I performed as principal trumpet for the RNCM Symphony, Opera, Chamber and Concert Orchestras, and in masterclasses with the Academy of Ancient Music, Academy of St Martin’s in the Field and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. After an extensive audition process with both the Hallé and Opera North, I am very pleased to report that I am now on the extras list of both orchestras. I recently made my debut in Opera North’s production of Andrea Chénier and am regularly engaged in concert and tours with the Hallé throughout the UK.
As a soloist I worked with visiting trumpet artists Allen Vizzutti, Rex Richardson and Chris Deacon and following a masterclass in intuitive improvisation with Markus Stockhausen I was invited to perform in his duo programme with pianist Florian Weber. I have performed solo recitals in Manchester, Leeds and London and was principal trumpet on a CD recording with euphonium soloist Steven Mead.
I successfully auditioned and was awarded the 2015 Chamber Orchestra of Europe Academy position, which included a full scholarship to join the orchestra on their tour in Ferrara, Italy with Radu Lupu as soloist under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski.
I was offered the principal trumpet seat of the month-long RNCM residency at the 40th and 41st Cantiere Internazionale D’Arte Montepulciano, Henze’s inter-disciplinary arts festival held in a stunning medieval town in Tuscany. Highlights included performing in the world-premiere of an Italian contemporary opera ‘Idroscalo Pasolini’ (Taglietti) which was broadcast live on Italian Radio 3, as well as touring chamber music and symphonic concerts around the north of Italy.
Following a performance as soloist with the renowned Black Dyke Brass Band in February 2015, I was invited to become a member of their Solo Cornet section. The virtuosity of their members and exceptionally high level of performance standards were incredible to be a part of. I performed with the Band for a year touring throughout England, Wales and Scotland and recorded numerous albums for the Chandos and Doyen labels.
In September 2015 I founded the Latitude Brass Quintet. We reached the final of the prestigious Philip Jones Brass Ensemble Prize competition, have presented sold-out concerts around the North of England and have given the UK premiere of New Zealand brass quintets. We have just finished the first recording session for our debut album, which will be released in 2017.
I recently conducted a concert featuring piano soloist Martin James Bartlett (BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014) and RNCM alumni in aid of the charity Future Talent. I have been guest conductor for the Salford Symphony Orchestra and attended conducting masterclasses with Sir Mark Elder and Vasily Petrenko, with more projects and opportunities arising for 2017.
Finally, today I was invited to conduct excerpts from La Bohème, Die Zauberflöte and Madama Butterfly for David Syrus, Head of Music of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. This was a one to one session from a previous consultation at the Royal Opera House. He was incredibly positive about my work and has recommended that I seek representation from an agent.
My heartfelt thanks to the Dame Malvina Major Foundation for facilitating part of my journey to these amazing experiences and for your encouragement and generosity for the arts in New Zealand and abroad.
There are a range of ways you can “share the dream” – from making a regular or one-off donation, to leaving a bequest or sponsoring a scholarship or prize. Find out more