Anthony Friend, Artistic Director

Anthony Friend - 1 credit William Marsey

Anthony Friend is a clarinettist, writer and concert promoter who founded the Bandstand Chamber Festival in 2020. He joins the Solem Quartet in a performance of Brahms' Clarinet Quintet on 10 September.

His playing has been praised as “delicious” (The Times) and “energised and raunchy, but not too much” (The Telegraph). He has played in major venues in the UK and abroad, from the Barbican to the Mariinsky, and has been broadcast on BBC radio and television. As an orchestral musician, he freelances with orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the orchestra of English National Opera, and was co-principal clarinet of Southbank Sinfonia 2017. He has played under conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner, Leif Segerstam, Kirill Karabits, Mark Wigglesworth, Martyn Brabbins, and Sakari Oramo. Anthony’s chamber music collaborators have included the Allegri and Maxwell quartets, the Philharmonia Chamber Players, pianists Karim Said and Florian Mitrea, violist Ásdís Valdimarsdóttir, harpist Oliver Wass, the Pelléas Ensemble and wind quintets Cavendish Winds and the Magnard Ensemble.


A keen exponent of contemporary and twentieth-century music, he is co-founder of Filthy Lucre, an immersive, mixed-genre new music night which moves from concert to club night. He has played Terry Riley’s In C at King’s Place with Katia and Marielle Labèque, and has worked with groups such as the Hermes Experiment, the Riot Ensemble and Ensemble x.y.


Aside from his performing, he runs the prestigious chamber music series Camerata Musica Cambridge, and writes programme notes for major artists and series such as the Aldeburgh Festival.


Anthony studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and then at the Royal Academy of Music with Angela Malsbury, Chris Richards, Lorenzo Iosco and Chi-Yu Mo. He previously studied with David Campbell and Michael Whight. His subsequent studies have been with Patrick Messina in Paris.