Julian Bliss: My Musical Journey

I always want to do more. I would fill my whole year with concerts if I could. I’m always looking for the next thing and trying to push myself

Some musicians can have something of a complicated relationship between their music and the ability to make a career out of it, but for clarinettist Julian Bliss, there was one event that made him realise that anything was possible. Invited to play live on TV at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, he describes it as a lightbulb moment. The stage, the crowd, the royal audience: the singular power of this moment was enough to ignite an unshakeable certainty that music could be so much more than just a hobby. Suddenly viewing music as a viable career, Julian has never looked back.

Fast-forward a decade and a half and Julian has not only realised this ambition, but expanded his portfolio, consulting with clarinet manufacturer Conn-Selmer and helping them design an affordable high-quality clarinet for student players. And now? Still the hunger, still the appetite, but also a shift in focus. He’s passionate about music education and mentorship, which is increasingly filling his time. In his own words: “I think more people should give back whatever they can to the next generation.”

Part of our 20th anniversary project: My Musical Journey

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