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Emma Johnson - Clarinet

Thursday 15th June, 5.30-7.30pm

The Hertfordshire Festival of Music celebrates and nurtures exceptional music-making, bringing world-class musicians to the county. HFoM’s aims include supporting professional and young musicians from Hertfordshire, presenting fascinating music by living composers, and devising major and innovative projects for education and participation.

Founded in 2016, HFoM has presented concerts that have inspired extraordinary audience responses, with artists such as Tasmin Little OBE, Dame Emma Kirkby, Chloë Hanslip, Stephen Hough CBE, Steven Isserlis CBE, Ben Goldscheider, the Carducci Quartet, the Galliard Ensemble, and the Orchestra of the Swan.


In 2023 Emma Johnson will be the Principal Artist at the Festival (June 9 -16) and we are delighted to announce that on Thursday 15 June 2023, she will be giving a clarinet masterclass at 5.30pm-7.30pm. Applications are now open for musicians to take part. The Masterclass will take place at Queenswood School’s Chapel. Queenswood School is located in Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Masterclass Application

There is no charge for making an application for the Masterclass, and tickets to observe the sessions will be free to reserve. Classes will also be made available as a livestream.

The services of a professional pianist will be provided, free of any charge if you’re chosen to participate. You will only need to cover the costs of transport to and from the class, and accommodation should that be necessary.

In the past, musicians who have participated in the HFoM Masterclass series have been invited to perform at future Festivals. Whilst we cannot guarantee this, it is an opportunity we hope to be able to offer.

Who can apply?

Anyone. There are no age restrictions. However, you should be of Grade VIII or Diploma standard and above. Applications are encouraged from candidates with a family or educational link to Hertfordshire, but this is not a condition of entry and in the past participants in our Masterclass series have come from across the U.K. and overseas.

What do I need to send to you to apply?

We would like a letter of application of no more than five hundred words, stating something about your musical background and – crucially - what you would gain from taking part in this masterclass from an educational/career perspective. We also require a reference - one paragraph is sufficient - from your current or most recent teacher or another professional musician who knows you, supporting your application. We need you to send us a video recording - not just audio - of your playing, which you need to upload to YouTube or a similar online platform, but not as attachment to an e-mail, or a file share. N.B. Please ensure the video is made ‘private’, especially if you’re playing music in copyright. If you need any technical assistance and advice with doing this, please contact us.

What are the repertoire requirements?

Between five and ten minutes of music, with two contrasting pieces which may be solo, or with accompaniment. Please let us know the details of your pieces in the e-mail of application.

What are the deadlines?

We need to have received your completed application by 6pm on Sunday 14 May 2023. Decisions will be sent to all applicants by e-mail on Sunday 21 May 2023.

Send your application by e-mail to and put ‘Masterclass application from (your name)’ in the subject header.


Anything else I need to know?

We cannot enter any correspondence about our decisions and if you are chosen to take part, we will inform you of all subsequent details. You will need to be available during the daytime of Thursday 15 June to rehearse at Queenswood with the accompanist.  Please note that the classes will be live-streamed, although they won’t be recorded for any future broadcast.

About Emma Johnson

Emma is a solo clarinettist who has performed worldwide. She won BBC Young Musicians at 17 and Young Concert Artists in New York. She has made 30 recordings, including English Fantasy, Voyage and The Mozart Album. She composed Songs of Celebration and Tree of Life, and commissioned works from other composers. She plays with her own group, Emma Johnson and Friends, and has a diverse repertoire from Mozart to Jazz.

Her compositions and arrangements are published by Chesters and Faber Music. She has appeared on TV, radio and YouTube, and won an Ivor Novello Award for The Victorian Kitchen Garden theme. She has given talks and lectures on music and literature. She studied at Cambridge University and was honoured by the Queen with an M.B.E. She plays a clarinet by Peter Eaton.


As the HFoM Principal Artist, Emma will also be performing a recital with pianist Gregory Drott on Friday 16th June at 6.00pm in All Saints’ Church, Queens Road, Hertford. 


Hertfordshire Festival of Music

HFoM is fortunate to receive the support a number of charitable trusts and foundations, county, district and town councils, while a growing Friends Scheme allows individuals to play an important role in furthering the Festival’s scope and potential. It is registered as a charity (Number 1175716) and is supported by a board of Trustees and team of volunteers.

We look forward to receiving your application.

James Francis Brown

Artistic Director, Hertfordshire Festival of Music

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