LESLIE CRAVEN – clarinet
Leslie Craven was born in London in 1953 and studied clarinet from the age of seven attending both the Royal Academy (as a junior exhibitioner) and Royal College of music, where he won numerous major prizes and had master classes with the great Nadia Boulanger – teacher of many of the 20th Century composers.
He is today regarded as one of Britain’s most outstanding clarinettists as soloist and Principal Clarinettist in the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera. He has performed in and recorded with London’s major Orchestras such as the L.S.O., Royal Philharmonic, Phiharmonia and as one of the “elite” session musicians playing for many commercial T.V. series, “jingles” and films.
He is one of the most accomplished teachers of clarinet in the U.K., giving master classes in establishments such as the Royal College of music in London, Trinity College, and Birmingham Conservatoire, Cardiff University and as far afield as the Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong. He is a professor of Clarinet at the Royal Welsh College of Music Cardiff and co-founder of The Clarinet Convention at Cardiff University Music School which attracts clarinettists from all parts of the U.K and abroad, currently in its twelfth year having attracted over twelve hundred clarinettists to its door.
Leslie has inspired many composers to compose and dedicate works to him, many of which can be heard on the C.D. “Expressions” (Clarinet Classics CC 0059).
He also recorded a concerto by Christopher Ball, (Quantum QM 7040) written for and dedicated to him which received rave reviews for his performance. Leslie is author of “Instant Help for Playing and Teaching the Clarinet”. This is currently recommended reading material for the Associated Board Diploma Course. An innovator in the subject of clarinet, Leslie plays on his own design mouthpiece which is a highly sought after design being played by many of Britain’s leading clarinettists.
SUNDAY TIMES “…the clarinet solos were glorious….” – Hugh Canning
THE TELEGRAPH “…delicious clarinet playing….” – Malcolm Hayes
DE KLARINET (Dutch clarinet magazine)
“He sounds like a young virtuoso, a vigorous musician and plays the pieces enthusiastically, and expressively. His sound is warm and focused and his tone has feeling” …. review of “Expressions” a disc recorded by Leslie
CLARINET and SAXOPHONE ( journal of the Clarinet and Saxophone Society of Great Britain). “ In Leslie Craven the dedicatee, Christopher Ball (the composer) has the ideal interpreter, commanding and brilliant but above all warmly expressive”…Andrew Smith
Visit Leslie Craven’s website, where you can find details of his other CDs – www.lesliecraven.co.uk