Oliver Pashley is a clarinettist based between London and St Leonards-on-Sea. He is a founding member of contemporary quartet The Hermes Experiment and holds the position of Sub-Principal Clarinet with Britten Sinfonia. Oliver plays regularly with orchestras and ensembles at home and abroad, including the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Collective, Riot Ensemble, and the Haffner Wind Octet, and has played guest principal with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, and English National Ballet.
Oliver’s playing has featured on several high-profile releases, both in the world of classical music and beyond. His recently recorded Mark Simpson’s Geysir alongside Mozart’s Gran Partita, on a disc that was selected as one of Presto Classical’s 2020 Recordings of the Year, alongside a Gramophone Editor’s Choice award. He was also featured on Harry Escott’s BAFTA-winning Soundtrack to the popular BBC Series Roadkill in 2020. He has tutored on several occasions at Aldeburgh Music, delivering courses and coaching to young musicians in the area, and is highly in demand as a musical collaborator with groups far and wide, having recently embarked on a tour with Manchester Collective, both around the UK and further afield in Europe.
As part of The Hermes Experiment Oliver has toured the UK and abroad. The ensemble, consisting of soprano, clarinet, double bass and harp, won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award in 2021, and the group has released two albums to critical acclaim. Their debut disc, HERE WE ARE, was Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice, and was selected as one of Presto Classical’s 2020 Recordings of the Year, in addition to being featured as one of Apple Music’s 10 Classical Albums of the Month and The Guardian’s 10 Best Contemporary Albums of 2020. The group won the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Mixed Ensemble Competition in 2019, and since its inception in 2013 has commissioned over 50 new works and arrangements for the group, also frequently venturing into live improvisation, graphic score, and performance art. Praise from The Observer includes ‘[t]his clever mix of instruments is more versatile than you might first think’, and the ensemble’s performances have been described by The Times as ‘meticulously nuanced, witty and chic.’ The ensemble gave an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at the Cockpit Theatre in December 2016, and a debut recital at King’s Place in February 2017. Recent highlights include performances at Wigmore Hall, BBC Radio 3 Open Ear at LSO St Luke’s, Tallinn Music Week, St Petersburg’s Sound Ways Festival, Southbank Centre, Kings Place and Spitalfields Festival.
Oliver studied at Cambridge University, and went on to obtain a Master’s Degree with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Oliver was an Artist Fellow in residence at the Guildhall School in 2014-15, which culminated in a concert featuring an unconducted performance of John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons given with the School’s New Music Ensemble.
Oliver is a contributor to the Hong Kong-based online music journal Interlude.hk, having interviewed artists including Charlie Siem, Roxanna Panufnik, Menahem Pressler, Mahan Esfahani, the Emerson Quartet, and John Malkovich.
To contact Oliver for engagements, please use the contact form.