Peter Sparks

MA(Hons), Cantab, PGDip(RAM), LGSMD (PPD), LRAM, ARAM

Headshot for Peter Sparks

Peter has an exceptionally diverse career as a performer which he combines with a commitment to clarinet teaching and chamber music coaching at the Royal College of Music. He is Co-Principal Clarinet at English National Opera, and regularly performs as guest Principal Clarinet with most of the leading symphony, chamber, ballet and opera orchestras in the UK such as the Royal Opera House, Philharmonia, BBC orchestras with concerts, broadcasts and recordings at home and abroad. 

A busy chamber musician, Peter performs and records with a number of different chamber ensembles such as Wigmore Soloists (including Schubert Octet, Beethoven Septet and Brahms Serenade) and London Winds, with whom he frequently broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and performs in UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, BBC Proms as well as at International Festivals. Peter also performs around the country as a guest with a number of chamber groups including with Philharmonia Chamber Players, Ensemble 360 and Orsino Ensemble. He has recently recorded 2 discs of jazz-inspired arrangements with the Art Deco Trio with Iain Farrington and Kyle Horch. He is also in demand as a session musician for a variety of TV shows, films and adverts, as well as playing in the West End. 

Peter is an accomplished soloist and has performed numerous concertos such as those by Mozart, Debussy, Adams, Finzi, Copland, Weber and both Mendelssohn Konzertstücke including a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast with Michael Collins with whom he has collaborated extensively.

He has premiered many new works and has an affinity for contemporary music. Some commissions include works by Nicola LeFanu and two pieces by Peter Wiegold including a bass clarinet concerto, ‘New York’, which were premiered in the Park Lane Group series in the Purcell Room. He collaborated with Mira Calix, working on inter-disciplinary improvised music with electronics to silent movies by Hitchcock in the Royal Festival Hall and ‘Dead Wedding’ puppet show in the Barbican. Most recently he premiered ‘The Light Blinds’ for clarinet/bass clarinet and strings by Angela Slater (RPS commission) and premiered/recorded a folk-inspired piece, ‘The Platinum Suite’, for clarinet/bass clarinet, strings and harp by Seonaid Aitken.

As a visiting teacher, Peter has coached chamber music, given classes and masterclasses at RAM, GSMD and RWCMD. He also recorded the official demonstration tracks for the current ABRSM clarinet syllabus. 

Faculties / departments: Woodwind


For enquiries please contact:

Peter Sparks

Clarinet professor

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