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Soloist - Robert Blanken

Saturday 26 March 2011  7.30
Concert Soloist

Robert Blanken

Robert Blanken – clarinet

Robert (Rob) was born in Rotterdam of Dutch parents and came to England at the age of ten.  Soon afterwards he began to learn the clarinet and later became principal in Hampshire County Youth Orchestra.  He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music gaining his GRNCM and a Performer’s Diploma from the Royal College of Music.  He has taken part in masterclasses with Thea King, Jack Brymer and Gervase de Peyer.

Rob’s repertoire includes solo concertos by Mozart, Krommer, Weber, Alan Ridout, Rossini, Lutoslawski, Finzi, Malcolm Arnold and Artie Shaw as well as double concertos including Telemann’s for two chalumeaux (the clarinet’s predecessor) and Gordon Jacob’s for clarinet and trumpet.

He plays most of the chamber works for clarinet and has a well-deserved reputation for excellence – especially in the Monington Duo with pianist Karen Kingsley.  Their duo repertoire numbers over 180 works, including several specially written for them.

Rob is principal clarinet in both Havant Orchestras and with Solent Symphony Orchestra and teaches pupils at Portsmouth High School for Girls and Portsmouth Grammar School the art of clarinet playing.  In addition to these commitments he also finds time to play both clarinet and saxophone in theatre productions in the area and to represent the Havant Orchestras as their Vice-Chairman.

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