Biography

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). A BASCA British Composer Award winner and former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, Clowes works in a variety of settings, and has received critical acclaim for all of her album releases.

Clowes’s band MY IRIS – with Chris Montague, Ross Stanley and James Maddren – has toured worldwide and been hailed as “the jazz of the future” (Augsburger Allgemeine). Her performances (either with her band or as a soloist) include the Barbican, Toronto Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Celtic Connections (with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), Women in (e)motion Festival (Germany), National Opera House (Ireland), and making broadcasts for BBC 2 Proms Extra, BBC Radio 3 and Radio Bremen. In 2019, Clowes premiered Joe Cutler’s saxophone concerto ‘Hawaii, Hawaii, Hawaii’ with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Also in 2019, Clowes collaborated with film director Rose Hendry to create a music video ‘Abbott & Costello’ – inspired by characters in Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction film ‘Arrival’ – that has recently been screened at the Cannes Lions Festival and shortlisted for The Voice Of A Woman Awards 2019. 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) and Onyx Brass. Alongside her work as a performer and composer Clowes has been curating her own new music project Emulsion since 2012, through which she has commissioned seventeen new works.

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, notably with saxophonist Iain Ballamy and composer Pete Churchill. Clowes was later honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (2013). 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 Emulsion, exploring collective practice and audience interaction through her compositions, and was funded by a STEAM Scholarship (2016). Clowes is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and an ambassador for the charity Donate4Refugees.

“brilliant”
Gilles Peterson

“increasingly formidable”
BBC Music Magazine

“Everything Clowes does has an invigorating purposefulness”
Ivan Hewett, the Telegraph

“uncommon genius”
JazzdaGama

[above photo by Rose Hendry]

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