Victoria Soames Samek is one of the most exciting and versatile clarinettists playing in the UK today. Combining breath-taking technicality and musical integrity in her performances and recordings, with an individual approach in her teaching and mentoring, she is driven by her commitment to musical excellence through her chosen instrument – the clarinet and bass clarinet together with the saxophone.
The power of communication in performance, the discipline of practice and the love of music through her chosen instruments has shaped her musical career in her own solo and chamber commitments and her teaching & lecturing all which have proved inspirational.
Born of Czech and Hungarian parents, she performs internationally as a soloist, in duo recitals with pianist Michael Bell and in chamber ensembles notably The Chamber Musicians of London and FourSight.
As well as performing clarinet music from the 18th and 19th centuries, her long-standing commitment to contemporary music has resulted in over thirty commissions and dedications from notable composers including Elisabeth Lutyens, Roger Marsh Phyllis Tate and Thea Musgrave, whose bass clarinet concerto Autumn Sonata she performed, broadcast for BBC radio 3 and subsequently recorded with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the composer.
Victoria is professor of clarinet and Saxophone for The Royal Military School of Music and in that capacity also tutors and mentors many musicians from the Corps of Army Music. With her recognised specialism in psychology she was chosen to participate in an intensive course which has facilitated taking on an additional role of support in this area. In addition she is clarinet professor for Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and is also the tutor of clarinet at Goldsmiths College where she also lectures in performance. .
Central to Victoria’s drive is the importance she places in servicing the desire and providing an opportunity for musicians at whatever level or age, to be involved and fulfilled in performance and music making to their highest potential. In this capacity Victoria is invited to participate in many workshops, master-classes and special clarinet and saxophone events to which her specialism, training and experience in psychology in performance is invaluable.
With her great enthusiasm for the clarinet, in 1992 she launched the celebrated CD label Clarinet Classics and subsequently Saxophone Classics, both which have quickly established themselves as a unique showcase for the clarinet and saxophone in all their richness and diversity. Her own recordings for Clarinet Classics includes the world première recording of Copland’s Clarinet Sonata, voted “most sheerly seductive record of the year” .Her latest recordings are devoted to the clarinet chambers music of Paul Harris and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett to critical acclaim ‘
Victoria Soames Samek is a D’Addario Performing Artist and an official endorsee for Selmer (Paris) clarinets.