About > Meet our contributors > Oliver Pashley

Oliver Pashley is a London-based clarinettist and founding member of contemporary quartet The Hermes Experiment. He plays regularly with orchestras and ensembles at home and abroad, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, Northern Ballet Sinfonia, and the Haffner Wind Octet.

As a soloist he has worked with many ensembles around the UK, including performances of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with the Allegri Quartet at the Anghiari Festival and their Richmond concert series, Brahms’ Clarinet Trio with pianist Carole Presland and cellist Alasdair Tait, and an unconducted performance of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the Bristol Ensemble.

Oliver gave a performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Hymnos on the Barbican main stage in an evening featuring the world première of the composer’s Tenth Symphony given by the London Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein, City of London, Cambridge, Petworth, Stogumber, Bushey and Deal festivals, and in Autumn 2016 commenced work on a revival of Peter Schaffer’s acclaimed play Amadeus at the National Theatre.

As part of The Hermes Experiment Oliver has toured the UK and abroad. The ensemble, consisting of soprano, clarinet, double bass and harp, are Park Lane Group Artists for 2015/16, having previously won Nonclassical’s Battle of the Bands competition in 2014. The Hermes Experiment has commissioned over 50 new works and arrangements for the group, and also frequently ventures into live improvisation, graphic score, and performance art. Praise from The Observer includes ‘[t]his clever mix of instruments is more versatile than you might first think’, and the ensemble’s performances have been described by The Times as ‘meticulously nuanced, witty and chic.’ Oliver’s arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi was praised by London Jazz News for ‘bringing the darkness and light of the city together with a cheerful vocal melody layered over an unnerving clarinet and bass line.’ Upcoming engagements with The Hermes Experiment include an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at the Cockpit Theatre in December 2016, and a recital at King’s Place in February 2017.

Oliver studied at Cambridge University, and went on to obtain a Master’s Degree with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Oliver was an Artist Fellow in residence at the Guildhall School in 2014-15, which culminated in a concert featuring an unconducted performance of John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons given with the School’s New Music Ensemble.

Oliver is the Schools’ Administrator for Apollo Music Projects, a charity which brings classical music to children aged 7-11 who might not otherwise experience it.

Oliver gratefully acknowledges the support he receives from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and Help Musicians UK.

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