Yeoman interview – Joseph Shiner

What was your musical education? 

I studied at Wells Cathedral School (2003 – 2009) with Kevin Murphy, Timothy Orpen, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (2009 – 2012) and the Royal Academy of Music (2012 – 2013). I now study privately in Paris with Patrick Messina.

What Prize did you win and when?

Maisie Lewis Young Artists Fund (2013) and the Prince’s Prize (2014).

What is your instrument or specialisation?

Clarinet.

What does being a Prizewinner mean to you?

It is fantastic to be part of an organisation that is so enthusiastic and comprehensive in its support of my early career. The Company really has the personal touch; at concerts and events you get to know friendly faces very quickly.

Do you play solo or in an ensemble?

I regularly perform solo at engagements around the UK for the Company and other organisations, working with my duo partner Frederick Brown. I also work regularly with my wind quintet, Magnard Ensemble, who hold a chamber music fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music for 2014 – 2015.

Can you tell us about a couple of recent jobs or assignments?

Recent highlights include two solo recitals at St. Martin in the Fields, as well as commissioning exciting new repertoire from Ian Morgan-Williams and Kate Whitley, a wonderful Weber Concerto (no. 2) in the beautiful Romsey Abbey in May, and winning the Prince’s Prize!

Do you take part in Outreach?

As often as possible!

How do you prepare for an audience of 60 young children?

Above all I like to be as organised as possible. I think it is important to establish for yourself clear aims or objectives for each session, planning suitable repertoire and lively activities/opportunities for question-and-answer that the pupils can get involved in, with a framework or overarching topic that the children can follow easily. I always have to write out a rough script for myself, or at the very least a running order, that helps to remind me where I am, keeping me on track with no lulls in energy!

How has the Company been helpful to you?

The Company has provided me with extensive support (emotional and financial!), professional engagements and valuable advice, building my confidence and my experience both on the concert platform and in education.

What are your ambitions?

To perform, teach, and continue learning about music to the very best of my ability.

What are your future plans?

I am busy with recitals through the autumn and into spring 2015, including Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music for the Company shared with Ben Baker (violin), as well as Thames Concerts Society and St. John’s Smith Square (date tbc). I am very excited for my first un-conducted Mozart Concerto at Wardour Castle, Wiltshire in September with the Cherubim Trust, and Frederick and I are currently in the planning stages of our first recording, to include the commissions mentioned above.

Do you have any advice for new Yeomen?

Network, network, network! As well the professional opportunities, the Company is a fantastic resource for the ‘who you know’ aspect of a musician’s career. Above all, make the most of their support and all the opportunities that the Company offer; they provide a fantastic springboard into the profession at the most crucial and scary time!