© Nicholas Shipman

The Woodstock Ensemble with
Eloisa-Fleur Thom, violin
You-Chiung Lin & Stefan Hofkes, piano
David Barrell, narrator

The Woodstock Ensemble is best known for their relaxed, fun approach to performance and this, combined with the highest musical standards, makes each concert a memorable occasion. The pieces are introduced to the audience with informal, yet informative, fun introductions. This is largely why they are regularly invited back time and again.
The group is made up of close friends and colleagues who have worked together for over fifteen years. The unusual combination of piano duet, violin and clarinet, lends itself to the performance of some interesting works arranged for this versatile group which would otherwise require much larger forces. Saint-Saëns’ evergreen Carnival of the Animals, one of the most popular pieces ever written, can be played either on its own, or with newly written poems by Dominic Lopez-Real, narrated by the wonderful David Barrell. Solo works and pieces for piano duet can also be inserted into any programme to add variety.

Sample programme:
Stravinsky - The Soldier’s Tale for violin, clarinet and piano with narration
Ravel - Ma Mère L’Oye for piano four-hands
Saint-Saëns - Carnival of the Animals for violin, clarinet, piano four-hands and narration, with poems by Dominic Lopez-Real

The Clifton Trio with
Joseph Spooner, cello
Stefan Hofkes, piano

The Clifton Trio has been playing together for over ten years and the musician’s have forged a very special bond which is clearly seen and heard in their performances. They have performed widely throughout the UK and The Netherlands, and have also toured The USA. The core repertoire pieces of the ensemble are the great works by Brahms and Beethoven in addition to many other interesting and beautiful works. They often mix their programmes with duo and solo items.

Sample programme:
Max Bruch - Selection of works from the ‘8 Pieces’
Kenneth Leighton - Fantasy on an American Hymn Tune Op. 70
Johannes Brahms - Clarinet Trio Op. 114

Other repertoire includes:
Alwyn - Folk Songs; Trio Op.10; Pezzi pianissimi Op. 41
Beethoven - Clarinet Trio in B flat Op. 11; Trio in E flat op. 38
Ireland - Trio in D minor
Lindberg - Clarinet Trio
Rota - Clarinet Trio
Zemlinsky - Clarinet Trio

The Ebony Collective with
various string players

The Ebony Collective is an ensemble conceived to explore the rich and extremely diverse repertoire of music for clarinet and strings and although various combinations are possible, the most frequent is clarinet with string quartet. The ensemble is flexible in nature, with string players being taken from a pool of highly able, gifted musicians.
The iconic quintets by Mozart and Brahms are core to the ensemble, but there are many other interesting works from other established composers and a wealth of newly written contemporary works. From the lyrical, impressionistic expression of Howells’ Rhapsodic Quintet, the virtuosity and uninhibited exuberance of the Quintet by Weber to the darker sound world of Max Reger’s Quintet and the shimmering, glittering soundscapes by Magnus Lindberg, Elliott Carter and James MacMillan, there is a universe of diverse and stimulating music.
Founded in 2014, the Ebony Collective is a new and exciting ensemble, with a vision to bring the deeply expressive, subtle yet broadly wide-ranging sonorities of this combination of instruments to the fore.

Sample programme:
Herbert Howells - Rhapsodic Quintet
Magnus Lindberg - Clarinet Quintet or Elliott Carter - Clarinet Quintet
Johannes Brahms - Clarinet Quintet Op. 115

Other repertoire includes the quintets and quartets by:
Aho, Andriessen, Bainbridge, R. R. Bennett, M. Berkeley, Bliss, Bowen, Busoni, Carter, Corigliano, Françaix, Glazunov, Haydn, Hindemith, Hummel, Jacob, Keuris, Krommer, MacMillan, Maxwell-Davies, Mozart, Penderecki, Skempton, Reger, Turnage, Weber