Dr Sarah Watts

Photo of Sarah WattsDepartment of Music
The University of Sheffield
Jessop Building
34 Leavygreave Road
Sheffield
S3 7RD

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0464

Email : s.watts@sheffield.ac.uk


Biography

I am a Teaching Associate in Music Performance at Sheffield University where I teach performance based modules on the undergraduate and MA courses. I also teach bass clarinet at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and Clarinet at Nottingham University.

I studied clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music, London, before completing the postgraduate solo bass clarinet at the Rotterdam Conservatorium, Holland. My studies in Rotterdam were funded by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and in 2002 a Leverhulme Trust Studentship and I was awarded the Exxon prize for the best classical music student.

Successes include: Winner, UK Howarth Clarinet Competition 2000; Winner, Hawkes Clarinet Prize (RAM) 2001; Winner, Sir Arthur Bliss Chamber Music Prize (RAM) 2000; Winner of wind section and Faber Prize, UK Performing Australian Music competition, 2001 (my clarinet and bass clarinet recital was broadcast on ABC radio); Finalist, Wind section, Royal Overseas League Competition 2000.

I specialise on the bass clarinet and have gained an International reputation as an artist, teacher and researcher on the instrument. I have performed solo repertoire across the UK, Ireland, Asia, Europe and the Americas and attracted composers such as Sir Harrison Birtwistle, George Nicholson, Piers Hellawell and William Sweeney to write works for me. In January 2003, I performed a solo bass clarinet recital in London’s Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artist Series.

I host clarinet and bass clarinet courses on the Isle of Raasay in Scotland and direct and tutor on other wind chamber music courses in the UK and France. I have given workshops on bass clarinet technique at many establishments including the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, The Royal Welsh College of Music, The Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Irish Academy of Music, Keele University and Edinburgh University.

I perform with several chamber music ensembles including Hard Rain Soloists Ensemble (Belfast), rarescale and SCAW.

I have completed a PhD in bass clarinet multiphonic analysis at Keele University and have published ‘Spectral Immersions; A Comprehensive Guide to the Theory and Practice of Bass Clarinet Multiphonics’. (Metropolis publishers, Belgium)

I am Vandoren UK artist, Selmer Clarinet artist and a Silverstein Ligature artist.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Music Performance
  • Bass Clarinet Multiphonics
  • Performer/Composer Collaborations
  • Contrabass Clarinet

Current Projects

due for release in 2017 by Hyperion Records. (recorded in Glasgow, July 2014 and March 2015).
Works by Beethoven, Glinka and R. Strauss
Performed by Sarah Watts (clarinet), Laurence Perkins (bassoon), Martin Roscoe (piano), RSNO
and Sian Edwards (conductor).

Due for first edition publication in late 2017 followed by annual updates.
A Complete Catalogue of Solo and Chamber Music for Contrabass Clarinet.
PDF document to initially be made freely available via my own website. Funded by a 2016/17 Teaching Award, RNCM

Selected Publications

Spectral Immersions; A Comprehensive Guide to the Theory and Practice of Bass Clarinet
Multiphonics. Sarah Watts

Publisher - Metropolis, Belgium. July 2015
Screapadal for solo bass clarinet. Sarah Watts
Publisher - Metropolis, Belgium. July 2015

New Horizons - Music for flute, clarinet/bass clarinet and bassoon.
Cuillin Sound Label. CUILL1004. Recorded Isle of Raasay, Scotland in April 2013, Released 2013
Performed by Sarah Watts (clarinets), Amina Hussain, (Flute) and Laurence Perkins (bassoon)

emBODYments - works for bass clarinet and electroacoustics
Centaur label, USA. CRC 3265. Recorded Keele University, February 2013. Released 2013
Performed by Sarah Watts (bass clarinet)

Timeless Shades. British works for bass clarinet and piano
Cuillin Sound label. CUILL1002. Recorded Keele University, Released March 2013.
Performed by Sarah Watts (bass clarinet), Antony Clare (piano)

SCAWFELL - core repertoire for bass clarinet and piano
Clarinet Classics label. CC0056
Recorded Nottingham University. Released 2008
Performed by Sarah Watts (bass clarinet), Antony Clare (piano)