Henry Melbourne – clarinet
Ben Socrates – piano
Henry Melbourne and Ben Socrates formed their eponymous clarinet and piano duo in 2016, years after first meeting as fellow students of London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Ben was a music undergraduate at the University of Chichester from 2007 to 2010, winning various prizes during this time including the Funtington Robert Headley award, the Clifford Benson prize and the University Orchestra’s soloist’s competition. As a postgraduate scholar at Trinity Laban he went on to be awarded prizes for Lieder, accompaniment and composition.
Meanwhile Henry Melbourne has led the National Youth Wind Orchestra at their 2013 Prom at the Royal Albert Hall, won the Wilfred Hambleton Clarinet Competition, and performs with numerous ensembles including St Pauls Sinfonia, Docklands Sinfonia and the Thornhill ensemble. The Melbourne Socrates Duo share a passion and affinity for duo chamber music, a vibrant and engaging approach to performance, and a determination to shine a light on a valuable repertoire and share it with the world. They have performed recitals across the UK, and last year undertook concert tours aboard cruise ships to South America and the Middle East. Tonight’s concert at the Chapel of the Ascension includes two world premieres by acclaimed contemporary composers – Ringing Spellsphere by Ben Gaunt, and manga, for bass clarinet and piano, by Chichester’s very own Terence Albright. The duo also showcases Brahms’ monumental second clarinet sonata, a unique arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and piano music by Schubert and J S Bach.