Oliver Pashley is a young London-based clarinettist and founding member of contemporary quartet The Hermes Experiment. He plays regularly with orchestras and ensembles at home and abroad, including Britten Sinfonia, the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, The Riot Ensemble, Northern Ballet Sinfonia, and the Haffner Wind Octet. Highly in demand as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, he 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 has worked with many ensembles around the UK, including performances of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with the Allegri Quartet at the Anghiari Festival and their Richmond concert series, Brahms’ Clarinet Trio with pianist Carole Presland and cellist Alasdair Tait, and unconducted performances of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with the Bristol Ensemble, with whom he returned in their 2017/18 season to perform Copland’s Clarinet Concerto.
Oliver gave a performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Hymnos on the Barbican main stage in an evening featuring the world première of the composer’s Tenth Symphony given by the London Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein, City of London, Cambridge, Petworth, Cowbridge, and BBC Proms festivals, and recently performed onstage with fellow alumni of Southbank Sinfonia on the Olivier Theatre stage in an acclaimed revival of Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus at the National Theatre in a 6-month run.
As part of The Hermes Experiment Oliver has toured the UK and abroad. The ensemble, consisting of soprano, clarinet, double bass and harp, were winners of the Tunnell Trust Awards 2017, and were Park Lane Group Artists for 2015/16, having previously won Nonclassical’s Battle of the Bands competition in 2014. The Hermes Experiment has commissioned over 50 new works and arrangements for the group, and also frequently ventures 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.’ Oliver’s arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi was praised by London Jazz News for ‘bringing the darkness and light of the city together with a cheerful vocal melody layered over an unnerving clarinet and bass line.’ The ensemble gave an adaptation of Shakespeare’s TheWinter’sTale 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. He is also the Schools’ Administrator for Apollo Music Projects, a charity which brings classical music to children aged 7-11 who might not otherwise experience it.
Oliver gratefully acknowledges the support he received from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and Help Musicians UK.
To contact Oliver for engagements, please use the contact form.