Anthony Friend is a clarinettist who has been praised for his “delicious” playing (The Times), his “liquid tone” (Seen and Heard International) and performances that are “energised and raunchy, but not too much” (The Telegraph). Anthony’s chamber music collaborators have included string quartets such as the Allegri, Solem, Maxwell and Philharmonia Orchestra quartets, pianists Karim Said, Joseph Havlat and Florian Mitrea, harpist Oliver Wass, double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, the Pelléas Ensemble and wind quintets Cavendish Winds and the Magnard Ensemble.
As an orchestral musician he has worked with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam and Mark Wigglesworth. He regularly freelances with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera, and was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in 2017. He has been broadcast on BBC radio and television and played in major venues in the UK and abroad.
A keen exponent of contemporary and twentieth-century music, he is co-founder of Filthy Lucre, an immersive, mixed-genre new music night which moves from concert to club night. He has played Terry Riley’s In C at King’s Place with Katia and Marielle Labèque, and has worked with groups such as the Hermes Experiment, the Riot Ensemble and Ensemble x.y.
Aside from his performing, he runs the prestigious chamber music series Camerata Musica Cambridge, and writes programme notes for major artists and series such as the Aldeburgh Festival. In 2020 he founded the Bandstand Chamber Festival and Spotlight Chamber Concerts.
Anthony studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and then at the Royal Academy of Music with Angela Malsbury, and Chris Richards, Lorenzo Iosco and Chi-Yu Mo of the London Symphony Orchestra. He previously studied with David Campbell and Michael Whight. His subsequent studies have been with Patrick Messina and Pascal Moraguès in Paris.
Photos © William Marsey
"Lyricism of a quality it is difficult not to think divine — and why would one try? — is the order of the day, and so it sounded, Anthony Friend’s liquid tone just the tonic for cares we had (almost) left without the church."
Seen and Heard International
"To hear Brahms’s late Clarinet Quintet from Anthony Friend and the Solem Quartet on a sunny early evening was to sense not so much autumn as sunset in the music."
The Arts Desk
"Moments of lyrical beauty, high intensity and rhapsodic clarinet lines"