Watts, Sarah

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Sarah Watts is an award winning British Clarinettist who has gained an international reputation for her work as a solo bass clarinettist.

Sarah Watts studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music with Angela Malsbury and Victoria Soames Samek (bass clarinet). Sarah then decided to specialise in the bass clarinet and studied at the Rotterdam Conservatorium on the postgraduate solo bass clarinet course with Henri Bok, funded by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and in 2002 a Leverhulme Trust Studentship. At the end of her course in Rotterdam Sarah was awarded the Exxon prize for the best classical music student. 

Successes include: Winner, UK Howarth Clarinet Competition 2000; Winner, Hawkes Clarinet Prize (RAM) 2001; Winner, Sir Arthur Bliss Chamber Music Prize (RAM) 2000; Winner of wind section and Faber Prize, UK Performing Australian Music competition, 2001 (her clarinet and bass clarinet recital was broadcast on ABC radio); Finalist, Wind section, Royal Overseas League Competition 2000.   Sarah has performed clarinet concertos with the Royal Academy of Music Sinfonia, European Union Youth Wind Orchestra and the Nottingham Orchestra of the Restoration. 

Sarah specialises on the bass clarinet and has gained an international reputation as an artist, teacher and researcher on the instrument. She has performed solo repertoire across the UK, Ireland, Asia, Europe and the Americas and has attracted composers such as Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Piers Hellawell and William Sweeney to write works for her. In January 2003, Sarah performed a solo bass clarinet recital in London’s Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artist Series.   

Sarah teaches bass clarinet at the Royal Northern College of Music and clarinet at Nottingham University. She has also set up a solo bass clarinet course on the Isle of Raasay in Scotland and runs and tutors on other wind chamber music courses in the UK and France. Sarah has given workshops on bass clarinet technique at many establishments including the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, The Royal Welsh College of Music, The Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Keele University and Edinburgh University. 

Sarah performs with Cuillin Sound, Hard Rain Ensemble, rarescale and SCAW.

Sarah has recently completed a PhD in bass clarinet multiphonic analysis at Keele University and has published ‘Spectral Immersions; A Comprehensive Guide to the Theory and Practice of Bass Clarinet Multiphonics’ via Metropolis publishers.

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