Max Welford is a clarinet player in London whose work is varied, and includes performances as a soloist, chamber musician, in orchestras, West End theatres and on recordings.
Solo performances have included the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St. James’ Piccadilly and the National Portrait Gallery; Benjamin Britten’s Clarinet Concerto, Steve Reich’s “New York Counterpoint” at St. John’s Smith Square, and unaccompanied sets of Bach and Berio for the Nonclassical label. He will make his St. Martin-in-the-Fields solo debut in 2017. Chamber music partners have included singers Nicky Spence, Caroline Macphie and Joanna Skillett, and ensembles such as the London Chamber Collective, and the Ruisi, Artesian and Castalian String Quartets.
Orchestral and Ensemble work includes with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, CHROMA, London Contemporary Orchestra, English Session Orchestra, Faust Chamber Orchestra, the Uroboros Ensemble, jazz/contemporary group the Emulsion Sinfonietta and the Riot Ensemble. In New Music, Max has worked with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Mark Anthony Turnage and Colin Matthews, and has given premieres at the Pyramidale Festival in Berlin, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, Lincoln Centre NY, the Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre, King’s Place, Glyndebourne, and on BBC Radio 3.
Max currently holds the clarinet chair on the West End production of “Half a Sixpence”, and also deputises on “Wicked”. His session credits include the English Session Orchestra, Katie Melua, Imogen Heap, Mike Batt, Pink Floyd, Cadburys, semaine.com, and various libraries & soundtracks, most recently the 2017 film “Alien: Covenant”.
Max studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Andrew Marriner, Mark van de Wiel, Chi-Yu Mo, Angela Malsbury and Elizabeth Drew, and in Berlin with Wenzel Fuchs. He received further training as a student on the LSO and London Sinfonietta Academies, and after his graduation in 2012, he was represented by the Park Lane Group and the Concordia Foundation.
“The clarinettist Max Welford and pianist Katherine Tinker were excellent…oozing class in Turnage’s two pithy snapshots for clarinet and piano…Their characterful and spirited playing also made a superb case for Brian Elias’s Pythikos Nomos…quite wonderful in its twisting lines and evocations of ritual. The same control and commitment was brought to Shiva Feshareki’s new work Manic Pixie Dream Girl”
“Welford and Tinker had real dynamism and cohesion, a sense of conversation…there was a rhythmic bite to [Shiva Feshareki’s] music that would have devastated a less robust duo”
“The instrument is taken to what must surely be the limits of its possibilities. This is music “in extremis”. The playing of Max Welford was almost beyond belief in its supremely confident accomplishment.”
“every performer during the evening showed immaculate technique in what was clearly often difficult territory. But more than that, there was a high degree of maturity, concentration, commitment and energy on the part of all the young players concerned. How lucky modern-day composers are to have such expert and sympathetic advocates.”