“But what struck one more than even these fine works was the remarkable stamina & concentration of Heather Roche’s playing; in her hands, each & every piece became thoroughly absorbing.”

Born in Canada, clarinetist Heather Roche trained in England and now lives in Germany. She has performed at some of the major European festivals, including musikFest (Berlin), BachFest (Leipzig), Musica Nova (Helsinki), Acht Brücken (Cologne), the International Computer Music Conference (Huddersfield, Ljubljana) and the Agora Festival (Ircam, Paris). She has also performed solo programmes at the Zagreb Music Biennale, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the New York Electroacoustic Symposium, at CIRMMT (Montreal) and with the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST).

In 2014 she was awarded a DIVA (Danish International Visiting Artists Fellowship), and lived in Copenhagen for two months.

Since 2016 she is also Reviews Editor for TEMPO, a quarterly journal for contemporary music published by Cambridge University Press.

Her website is host to one of the most widely read new music blogs on the Internet. In 2014 it had nearly 40,000 hits from around the world. She also successfully crowdfunded in 2014 in order to host her first composition competition. Six young composers were chosen out of 270 applicants to write new pieces, to be premiered in 2016, each to be awarded a €1000 commission for their efforts.

She has performed with musikFabrik (Cologne), ensemble Garage (Cologne), ensemble interface (Berlin), the Riot Ensemble (London) and ensemble proton (Bern). She is also a founding member of ensemble hand werk (Cologne). hand werk has performed at festivals including the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Acht Brücken: Musik für Köln, blurred edges (Hamburg), in cities across Europe including Vienna, Leipzig, Dresden and recently in a week-long residency at Harvard University. The next year sees hand werk performing in Munich, Lebanon, Croatia and the UK. She also plays regularly across the UK in a trio with Carla Rees (flutes) and Xenia Pestova (piano) and has recently formed an alliance with the accordionist Eva Zöllner.

She is a fervent advocate of collaboration, and her PhD research at the University of Huddersfield (under the supervision of Dr. Philip Thomas) explored the nature of dialogue within performer-composer relationships. She has given workshops in instrumental technique and/or iPad use in performance all over Europe, for example in London, Munich and Copenhagen.

Heather completed her Masters of Music (Orchestral Training) in 2006 at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, studying under Joy Farrall and Laurent Ben Slimane, in addition to conducting with Sian Edwards. Following her degree she completed residencies with the International Ensemble Modern Academy, at IMPULS in Graz and with ensemble recherche in Freiburg, the Darmstadt Summer Courses 2008 and 2010 and the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Innsbruck, Austria. She has performed in masterclasses with Michael Collins, Ernesto Molinari and Shizuyo Oka, to name a few. She completed her BMus in 2005 at the University of Victoria, Canada, studying under Patricia Kostek.

2 Responses to Biography

  1. Eric Mandat says:

    Hi Heather, thank you for your very informative website for clarinetists and composers about new resources and extended techniques. I look forward to catching up and reading all your blog posts.

    • heatherroche says:

      Hi Eric,
      Amazing — I’m a big fan of yours, so it’s so flattering to have this comment from you. I seem to remember having some of your scores when I was a student in Canada but I’ve lost track of them now alas — would love to have another look. Sean Osborn recorded your music, right? Be very curious to have more feedback on the blog if you had the time/inclination. Please feel free to email me anytime
      Best wishes from London!

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