Featuring the second movement of my Clarinet Concerto, Spiritual Adaptation to Higher Altitudes, my recital with clarinetist, Bethan Jones will illuminate a program with transformative impressions and moods that will take the listeners on a journey of changing environments, The program includes the mysterious realm of Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie, the slow movement of my Concerto for Clarinet, celebrating the transcendental experience of rock climbing, the shifting moods of my Three Tangos, the pastoral meditation of Vaughan William’s Six Studies in English Folksongs, and concluding with Poulenc’s lyrical Sonata for Clarinet.Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.
Bethan Jones is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature within the School of Humanities at Hull University. She is also an experienced musician, playing clarinet and saxophone as well as guest-conducting the local orchestra Hessle Sinfonia.
She was principal clarinettist of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and winner of the Ivey Dickson prize for her outstanding contribution. She was also a founder member and principal clarinettist of the National Youth Chamber Orchestra of Great Britain. With these orchestras, Bethan performed regularly at the BBC Proms, working with such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Mark Elder. On tour, she played at prestigious venues including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen.
Since then, Bethan has played with a number of orchestras across the UK, including Sinfonia Cymru (Cardiff), Meadows Chamber Orchestra (Edinburgh), Scottish Sinfonia (Edinburgh), York Guildhall Orchestra and Hull Sinfonietta, as well as Bristol University and Nottingham University symphony orchestras. After moving to Hull in 2002, Bethan co-founded the Friary Quintet and Aegle Trio with Elaine King from Hull University’s School of the Arts. She is currently a member of the New International Chamber Ensemble, based in Hull and conducted by Stan Kell.
As a soloist, Bethan has performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto at the Colston Hall in Bristol and at the Palazza Bettoni in Gargnano, Italy. She has also performed concertos by Aaron Copland, Carl Nielsen, Claude Debussy, Gerald Finzi and Carl Maria von Weber. She has given numerous duo and chamber recitals in the UK and beyond.
Bethan’s academic research has principally focused on the works of D. H. Lawrence. It was at a D. H. Lawrence Symposium in Gargnano in 2012 that she first met and collaborated with William Grosvenor Neil. She played clarinet in the world premiere of his setting of four Lawrence poems entitled ‘Where there is no Autumn’.
In recent years, Bethan (who is partially sighted) has become involved with the local charity Sight Support Hull and East Yorkshire as a service-user, volunteer and fund-raiser. Through the charity’s SocialEyes program, Bethan has discovered adaptive sports such as sound tennis, and she now competes in regional tournaments. Her work with Sight Support ties in with a larger project on literature and visual impairment: an initiative that brings together community reading activities, academic research, creative writing, music and sport. With Sight Support’s Angela Gregory, she recently submitted a successful application to the Ideas Fund. This research aims to enhance the experiences and mental health of blind and visually impaired young people across the region.
William Grosvenor Neil’s compositions present the listener with an intense brilliant effect (FANFARE MAGAZINE) and represents contemporary writing at its most intellectual probing (CHICAGO TRIBUNE). His extremely characteristic harmonic world (CLASSICAL CD REVIEW) is fundamental to the unfolding of his music, and the range of sonic experiences (in his music) is astounding (SOUNDBOARD). In the 1980’s Neil was appointed as the first composer-in-residence with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the first residency of its kind with a major American opera company. His opera, The Guilt of Lillian Sloan was premiered by Lyric in June of 1986. He then went on to produce award-winning concerts and events at the New Music Chicago Spring Festival for several years. He has composed music for celebrated musicians including John Bruce Yeh and Chicago Pro Musica, guitarist Michael Lorimer and soprano Barbara Ann Martin. His Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra, commissioned by the Abelson Foundation, was premiered in Prague by the Czech National Symphony conducted by Paul Freeman has been recorded and released on the New Albany label. The Rome Prize and the Charles Ives Award are among his honors and his work has been recognized through grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, and the American Symphony Orchestra League, and awards from ASCAP and BMI. In 2008 he served as the McKnight Visiting Composer with the American Composers Forum for the city of Winona, MN. Significant performances include the premiere of his piano trio, Notte dei Cristalli, at the Teatro Alla Specola in Padova by Trio Malipiero, the premiere of his Symphony No. 1 (Sinfonia delle Gioie) by The La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, directed by Alexander Platt, and the premiere of Out of Darkness Into Light at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC. Most recently, Italian pianist, Giacomo Dalla Libera premiered Nocturne No. 1, Prelude No. 3, and Tango No. 2 at Morely College in London, and clarinetist, Fàtima Boix Canto’ premiered Concerto for Piccolo Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA. Recent CD releases have featured his music including Out of Darkness Into Light on Ravello Records, Spiritual Adaptation to Higher Altitudes on Mark Masters Recordings, Six Preludes for piano performed by pianist, Martin Jones on PnOVA Recordings. His music was featured on several live broadcasts on WFMT radio in Chicago in 2019 including his Six Preludes for piano solo by pianist Martin Jones. In the fall of 2020, Neil served as an Artist in Residence at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Most recently, his Sacrum Creaturea was premeried by the Artaria String Quartet at the 2021 Stringwood Chamber Music Festival in Lanesboro, MN and The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra premiered Driftless Spring in June of 2022.