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Robert Plane


“Plane’s clarinet has an eloquent and expressive voice. He can be clownish, rude, barracking and sneering; he can weep, simper and smarm; he can joke, cackle and cheer. He can also produce whispered tone from nothing, bite the air with a chisel edge, roar low down like a didgeridoo or soar with the pure white sound of a cathedral treble.” The Times

 “A highly accomplished, indeed commanding performance of Finzi’s gorgeous Clarinet Concerto from Robert Plane. With his bright, singing tone and effortless technical mastery, Plane leaves a stylish impression …” Gramophone


Robert Plane’s career as a solo and chamber clarinettist is rich and varied. Frequent concerto appearances have featured worldwide performances of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and the world premieres of concertos by Judith Bingham, Diana Burrell, Piers Hellawell and Mark Boden. Rob has tirelessly pursued a particular passion for British clarinet music in concert and on disc, winning a Gramophone Award for his account of Finzi’s Concerto.

As a chamber musician, Rob has explored the clarinet quintet repertoire with a number of the finest string quartets, including Brahms live on BBC Radio 3 with the Skampa Quartet and multiple appearances with the Elias Quartet, amongst many others. He has performed and recorded with the Gould Piano Trio for thirty years, commissioning Huw Watkins to compose ‘Four Fables’ in 2018, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival which they direct together. He is clarinettist of Ensemble 360 and enjoys exploring chamber music of all kinds with them at their home in the Crucible, Sheffield and country-wide.

Rob was principal clarinet of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for over twenty years and has held the same position with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia. A respected teacher and educator, he holds the post of Head of Woodwind Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

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