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Ronald Woodley | piano
Ronald Woodley enjoys a wide-ranging career as clarinettist, chamber pianist and musicologist, bringing the research experience of a distinguished academic portfolio to his varied performance projects. Appointed Professor of Music at the (now Royal) Birmingham Conservatoire in 2004, he was Director of Research there from 2010-15 and previously held academic positions at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Universities of Lancaster, Newcastle, Liverpool, and Christ Church, Oxford. He is now Emeritus Professor of Music at the RBC, having retired in 2018 to concentrate on recording and research projects.
As a performer Ron trained as clarinettist at the RNCM, before completing a doctorate in musicology at Keble College, Oxford. He is the dedicatee of many new works by Christopher Fox, Roger Marsh, Liz Johnson, Stephen Pratt, James Wishart, Steve Ingham, and Edward Cowie, including an exciting series of bass clarinet duos in the 1990s in partnership with Roger Heaton. He has recorded works for bass clarinet by York Bowen and Josef Holbrooke with the Primrose Quartet (Meridian Records, 2016) and in 2017 premièred and recorded the newly commissioned Sea-change by Liz Johnson, for multiple clarinets and string quartet, with the Fitzwilliam Quartet (Métier).
As a musicologist he has an international reputation as a specialist in late medieval music theory, in particular the 15th-century musician Johannes Tinctoris. Other projects in 19th- and 20th-century musicology have included work on Ravel, Prokofiev, Steve Reich, George Antheil, and, most recently, early recordings of Lieder and pianists in the circles of Brahms and Clara Schumann, especially Ilona Eibenschütz.
Ron enjoys long-standing partnerships with the the tenor James Geer, with whom he has recorded three previous albums of British song (see above), and with the pianist Andrew West, with whom he has recorded Constant Lambert’s four-hand version of Walton’s Façade Suites, with Lambert’s Trois pièces nègres pour les touches blanches.