Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes has been described as “an improviser to be reckoned with” (Downbeat Magazine) and “one of the most agile and original jugglers of improv and adventurous composition to have appeared in the UK in recent times” (John Fordham, the Guardian). Lauded for her imaginative approach to improvisation and composition, Clowes is currently an Associate Artist at Wigmore Hall, and has released six critically acclaimed albums. Clowes’s band MY IRIS – with Chris Montague, Ross Stanley and James Maddren – represents the front rank of the contemporary UK jazz scene and has been hailed as “the jazz of the future” (Augsburger Allgemeine).
In December 2019, Clowes premiered Joe Cutler’s saxophone concerto ‘Hawaii, Hawaii, Hawaii’ with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the recording of which has been released on Birmingham Record Company/NMC Recordings (2020). This release was closely followed by a guest soloist appearance with Orchestra of the Swan, interpreting the music of Antonio Vivaldi (‘Timelapse’, Signum Classics, 2021) – Clowes is also an Associate Artist with the Orchestra of the Swan for their 2021/22 season. Notable career performances include the Barbican, Toronto Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Wigmore Hall, Celtic Connections (with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), Women in (e)motion Festival (Germany), National Opera House (Ireland), Galway Jazz Festival, and broadcasts for BBC 2 Proms Extra, BBC Radio 3 and Radio Bremen. Recent commissions include writing for the London Sinfonietta (a Sinfonietta Short for solo bass, and their Sound Out projects), BBC Radio 3 (BBC Postcards from Composers, and BBC Concert Orchestra), Onyx Brass, and Architecture of Autonomy (producing music for a dance-film). Clowes’s music video ‘Abbott & Costello’, directed by Rose Hendry, was shortlisted for Voice of a Woman Awards 2019, and screened at Cannes Lions Festival and Aesthetica Short Film Festival.
Born on May 11th 1984, Clowes was raised in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and moved to London in 2003 to study at the Royal Academy of Music – she was later honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (2013). From 2012-14 Clowes was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and during that time she was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to write for the BBC Concert Orchestra, a piece that won her a British Composer Award in 2015. Clowes holds a PhD in Musical Composition, awarded by Birmingham City University (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) in 2020. Her research project was centred around the activities of her new music festival Emulsion, exploring collective practice and audience interaction through her compositions, and was funded by a STEAM Scholarship (2016). Clowes is an ambassador for the charity Donate4Refugees, and teaches regularly for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music, and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
BBC Music Magazine
“Everything Clowes does has an invigorating purposefulness”
Ivan Hewett, the Telegraph