50 – Peter Cigleris on Freelancing and Finding your Passion

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In this episode of the podcast, Peter Cigleris discusses his professional career as a freelance clarinetist in London, his latest album called “English Fantasy,” and how he became an early adopter of the Backun MoBa clarinets, in spite of being half way around the world at the time of their release.

Throughout the conversation, Peter shares some truly valuable advice that all clarinetists can use no matter their career goals, including the importance of finding balance between your artistic, business, and family life, and ensuring that you are on the right path musically. Join the Clarineat email list for a chance to win a signed copy of “English Fantasy” at www.clarineat.com/subscribe.

Win a Copy of Peter’s Latest CD

One lucky listener will win a signed copy of Peter Cigleris’s new CD entitled “English Fantasy,” which features the works of English composers for the Clarinet.

For a chance to win items mentioned on the podcast, please be sure to subscribe to the Clarineat email list. Winners are drawn at random from this list.

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1000 Londeners Video #54: Peter Cigleris

Discussion Topics

  • Being featured as one of 1000 Londeners
  • “The path is not set, so you can wander as you like” – Peter Cigleris
  • What it’s like freelancing in London, UK
  • Living a “Portfolio Career”
  • Is freelancing the future of being a musician?
  • Dealing with the uncertainty of a freelance career
  • The importance of actively pursuing opportunities
  • Identifying your interests
  • The business side of freelancing
  • Learning to market yourself
  • Making a distinction between business, art, and family life
  • Performing with the Symphony Orchestra of India
  • The importance of building connections
  • How, when, and where Peter discovered Backun clarinets
  • Touring the Backun Factory
  • The English repertoire for clarinet
  • Broadening your musical horizon
  • What’s coming up next for Peter
  • Lightning round questions (see below)


Lightning Round

Q: What’s on your music stand right now?
A: 18 Etudes by Paul Jean Jean and the latest edition of The Clarinet

Q: If you could go back in time and meet any composer or musician who would it be?
A: Beethoven

Q: Is there a particular book you’d like to reccomend?
A: The Letters of Leonard Bernstein

Q: What is the best piece of advice you ever received and who gave it to you?
A: “Learn the notes and rhythm first and put the emotion in after” – Michael Harris (Peter’s Teacher)


About Peter Cigleris

English clarinet soloist Peter Cigleris is enjoying a wide and varied career.

Peter studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire from 1997 where his professors were Michael Harris and Colin Parr. Whilst at the Conservatoire, Peter won the prestigious John Ireland Chamber music award with a performance of that composer’s Fantasy Sonata. He was also awarded a place on the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Training Scheme. At the Conservatoire Peter performed numerous concertos with the college’s ensembles, he also developed an interest in early clarinets, which led to a performance with the Conservatoire’s Baroque Capelle Orchestra with the Chalumeau Concerto by Fasch. Peter also premiered Guy Woolfenden’s arrangement of Malcolm Arnold’s Pre-Goodman Rag for wind ensemble; he later performed the complete Arnold Concerto with the Warwickshire Symphony under Guy Woolfenden as part of the composer’s eightieth birthday celebrations.

Peter went on to graduate from the Royal College of Music in 2002 with a PGDip. There his professors were Janet Hilton, Richard Hosford, Robert Hill and Tim Lines. During the summer of that year, Peter was awarded the Prix de Fossat and was invited to France to perform for Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark at a private reception.

As soloist he has performed in many venues across the UK and Europe and premiered several new works for the instrument as well as giving performances of concertos by Mozart, Weber, Finzi and Arnold to name a few.

Peter has been involved with several major projects, most notably with the BBC as a member of the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique in the BBC docu-drama ‘Eroica’. Peter was also awarded a place on the prestigious Jerwood Foundation Scholarship for Young Players in association with the Orchestra in the Age of Enlightenment. As an orchestral player he has worked with several well-known English orchestras including the CBSO, BBCCO and Orchestra of the Swan and is in demand as a session player. Peter has also held the principal clarinet seat with the Symphony Orchestra of India and has worked with conductors Charles Dutoit, Rafael Payare amongst others.

As a chamber musician Peter works with numerous pianists and musicians including Martin Cousins, John Lenehan and Julian Lloyd Weber. This has lead Peter to perform in the Windsor and Wooburn Festivals and also various music clubs from Scotland to the South of England.  Peter also played with the dynamic Canteloube Trio for many years; they were hand-picked for the Concert Promoters Network for the 2009/10 season. Peter left to concentrate on solo projects and the making of his debut CD “English Fantasy” released on Cala Records.

“This is a fresh and impressively pleasing collection which mixes the usual and the unusual to good effect with more of the latter than the former. “ Rob Barnett Musicweb-International

“…this pairing is not lacking, and they bring nuance and insight to bear, as well as fine tone and ensemble…” Jonathan Woolf Musicweb-International

Engagements further afield have included giving a recital and master class at the University of New Hampshire USA as well as working with local high school clarinetists and the Seacoast Wind Ensemble, performances in Russia, Spain for the inaugural Groba Festival and Mexico where Peter performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and gave the Mexican premiere of Malcolm Arnold’s 2nd Clarinet Concerto. Peter has also coached chamber music for the Music for You Summer School.

Peter is a Backun Musical artist and a Silverstein Works Artist.

Website: petercigleris.com

Twitter: @Cigleris

Facebook: facebook.com/petercigleris

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