Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Julian Bliss - Messager Solo de Concours (June 2008 column)
Amongst a sea of amateur videos of adolescent instrumentalists on YouTube, one particular video of a young clarinetist has caught the attention of many. Video footage of Julian Bliss, on the cusp of his twelfth birthday, captures his agility and virtuosity in an astounding performance of André Messager's Solo de Concours with pianist Ashley Wass. The young British clarinetist wows an audience of over 40,000 during a concert in honor of the Queen at Buckingham Palace on June 1, 2002. Performing from memory, Bliss playfully opens the first theme with a confidence normally associated with the more seasoned player. His charismatic stage presence and technical prowess are apparent throughout the performance. In the years since this performance, Bliss has achieved international acclaim as a soloist while continuing his studies with Sabine Meyer and attending the Royal College of Music in London.