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Heather Ryall

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About Heather

Heather is a London-based clarinettist and bass clarinettist who particularly enjoys cross-arts, collaborative work.
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I am a London-based freelance clarinettist and bass clarinettist - I like to immerse myself in sound; noticing the intricate harmonics and tiny changes that occur when I really listen. I enjoy experimenting with different colours on my instruments, trying new techniques and working in settings which allow me to respond to the world around me through improvisation; using contact mics to build closer sonic relationships with nature. ​ I completed a Junior Fellowship and the Orchestral Artistry Masters at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2019 and am currently on the side-by-side scheme with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, as part of NEXT. ​ As a classical musician, I have performed works by Richard Rodney Bennett and Birtwistle for BBC Radio 3 and have worked with Garsington Opera, Riot Ensemble, BCMG, Dr K Sextet, side-by-side with the LSO and with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields as an animateur. Due, in part to the Pandemic, I have performed in diverse settings such as Hallr Wood, Somerset, The Barbican, Wigmore Hall, King's Place, by the Lea in Olympic Park, Cadogan Hall, The Place Theatre, The Sage, Gateshead, Windsor Castle, Scadbury Park, the English Speaking Union (Dartmouth House) and Milton Court. ​ I particularly enjoy playing contemporary and new music, improvising and collaborating with composers and have worked with Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Gander, Harrison Birtwistle, Julian Anderson, Agata Zubel, Clara Iannota, Chaya Czernowin, Stevie Wishart, Sylvia Lim, Clare Elton, Nilufar Habibian and Torsten Herrmann. As a free improviser I played my first improv with Tom Jackson and have worked with Sylvain Monchoce and Lixue Lin-Siedler in Berlin as well as the group Ad-Lib Ensemble, Conduction Groups, London Soundpainting Orchestra and like to connect in this way with other musicians when the opportunity arises. I recently played at Riot Ensemble's debut at Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt 2021 (although sadly this was not in person due to the Pandemic!), as well as at their Croatian Composers' Society Concert at King's Place and their Wien Modern debut back in 2020. I am involved in various cross-arts collaborations and have been working with two artists, Miriam Sedacca and Karen Le Roy Harris on an immersive site-specific project in Jersey as well as writing music for a short film, ieau, to be released in November 2021. I am co-artistic director of the cross-arts group, Intertwined Cross-Arts Collective and we have recently released a film of our latest work, Tillow, a collaboration between composer, Clare Elton, choreographer, Kasia Witek, musicians, Sandy Thompson and Zosia Jagodzinska, and performers Stella Papi and Elisa Vassena.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I can perform with backing tracks
I can perform while walking around a venue
Contemporary classical, Classical, Folk, Pop, Electronic, Baroque, Classical crossover, Film / TV music, Musical theatre, Opera, Christmas, Traditional church music, Ceillidh, Folk rock, Traditional English folk, Easy listening, Experimental, Light music, Originals, Acoustic, Americana, Covers, Tribute, World music, Ambient, Ceilidh, Avant garde
See all genres
See all instruments
Event types:
Concert, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve, Virtual event
See all event types
Other skills:
Instrumental teaching, Community music worker, Fluent sight-reader, Actor, Dancer, Fluent improviser, Theory teaching, Animateur
See all skills

Song list

List of Works Contemporary Performed
Solo Repertoire
- Bennett, Richard Rodney; Sonatina – 1983
- Birtwistle, Harrison; Roddy’s Reel – 2009
- Carter, Elliott; Gra – 1993
- Fitkin, Graham; Cusp - 1997
- Habibian, Nilufar; Illusion - 2017
- Roxburgh, Edwin; Wordsworth Miniatures - 2003
- Sciarrino, Salvatore; Let me die before I wake - 1982
- Siegel, Wayne; Jackdaw – 1996
- Staud, Johannes Maria; Black Moon – 1998
- Widmann, Jörg; Fantasie - 1993
Ensemble Repertoire
- Argento, Dominick; To Be Sung Upon the Water - 1973
- Aska, Alyssa; Hermathena for Clarinet and Koto - 2018
- Birtwistle, Harrison; Silbury Air - 1977
- Brien, Raymond; Duo for Bass Clarinets – 2017
- Cage, John; Five2 - 1991
- Carter, Elliot; Asko Concerto - 2000
- Causton, Richard; Phoenix – 2007
- Czernowin, Chaya; Fast Darkness - 2020
- D’Rivera, Paquito; Aires Tropicales – 1994
- Dalach, Monika; Lily ist von ihrem... Abenteuer zurückgekehrt - 2017
- Elton, Clare; Does I fit: A Matter of Perspective - 2016
- Elton, Clare; John Creary’s Imperfect Journey - 2017
- Elton, Clare; Years ago I Died - 2018
- Gander, Bernhard; Ö – 2005
- Habibian, Nilufar; Nothing More - 2018
- Herrmann, Torsten; Pivot – 2008-10
- Iannota, Clara; They Left Us Grief-Trees Wailing At The Wall - 2020
- Jolivet , Andre; Sonatine – 1961
- Knussen, Oliver; upon one note – 1995
- Kurtag, György; Hommage à R. Schumann - 1990
- Lancaster, David; Strike – 2014
- LeFanu, Nicola; Sextet - 1996
- Lim, Sylvia; Colour Catalogue: Whites - 2018
- Lim, Sylvia; Shifting - 2017
- Lindberg, Magnus; Jubilees - 2000
- Maderna, Bruno; Serenata per un Satellite - 1969
- Mellits, Marc; Black – 2014
- Muczynski, Robert; Duos for Flute and Clarinet - 1973
- Muczynski, Robert; Quintet for Winds – 1985
- Muntendorf, Brigitta; shivers on speed - 2013
- Nevanlinna, Tapio; Foto – 1987
- Oliver, Tomislav; Feedback In Technicolour - 2020
- Picciochi, Miguel; Hidden - 2018
- Ritter, Martin; ??? for Bass clarinet and Koto – 2018
- Rorem, Ned; Ariel - 1971
- Saunders, Rebecca; Quartet - 1998
- Saunders, Rebecca; Underside of Green – 1994
- Sciarrino, Salvatore; Quintettino No.2 - 1977
- Stockhausen, Karlheinz; Kreuzspiel - 1951
- Varèse, Edgard; Intégrales - 1924-25
- Varèse, Edgard; Octandre - 1923
- Weir, Judith; Really? - 2002
- Weir, Judith; Romance of Count Arnaldos – 1987
- Zubel, Agata; Aphorisms on Milosz - 2011
- Zuraj, Vito; Tension – 2018
Orchestral Repertoire
- Fitkin, Graham; Circuit – 2002
- Ogonek, Elizabeth; As Though Birds - 2013
- Phillips, Julian; The Tale of Januarie – 2017
- Ward, Duncan; P-p-paranoia -2011
Customer questions

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I try to be flexible so just keep me up to date with any changes and I will try to accommodate them.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?


How much time do you need to set up?

I usually set up and do a sound check 1.5hrs before a performance.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Yes; I am also happy to play music which isn't on the set list.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes; I bring my own instrument(s), stand and iPad.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

Yes; I am flexible with repertoire and happy to learn specific pieces for an event.


Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£100
Up to 1 hour£200
Up to 2 hours£300
Up to 3 hours£450


From customers:

Zosia (

I thought this project was managed and run to the highest standards of professionalism. At each stage I felt supported and listened to by Heather and Clare, both of whom are sensitive, positive and professional. They both regularly checked in with me that I was comfortable with each activity and location, and were very well organised with administrative tasks and information, always with clear and open communication. They dealt with the covid and timetabling obstacles well and it is amazing what we have achieved despite the challenges of working remotely.

Review: S, 2 years ago

Heather Ryall’s lively clarinet made Jörg Widmann’s Fantasie constantly intriguing.