Roy Jowitt

Roy Jowitt with his Peter Eaton clarinet Roy Jowitt, who died on 6th of April 2012 aged 73, was Principal Clarinet with the London Symphony Orchestra from 1968 to 1990, alongside Gervase de Peyer until 1972 and then with Jack Brymer. During this period he played for most of the great conductors including Stokowski, Kubelik, Celibidache, Ormandy, Ozawa, Jochum and Böhm. Roy made hundreds of commercial recordings in the solo clarinet chair, for Abbado, Previn, Kertesz, Bernstein, Boulez and Colin Davis, to name but a few. Some of the highlights were Prokofiev's Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet, Rachmaninov's 1st and 3rd Symphonies, all with Previn; Appalachian Spring and Rodeo for Copland; Brahms 3rd Symphony and Elgar's Enigma Variations with Boult; Kodály's Peacock Variations and Psalmus Hungaricus with Kertesz; Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin, Rossini and Verdi Overture discs and La Cenerentola for Abbado and Neilsen's 5th Symphony with Ole Schmidt. His solo performances with the LSO have included Stravinky's Ebony Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall, Roszdestvensky conducting.

Roy Jowitt recorded over a hundred film soundtracks including the John Williams scores for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Superman.

Since leaving the LSO Roy worked regularly with other orchestras and made numerous recordings with the London Philharmonic including a Strauss Ein Heldenleben with Yuri Simenov. His recordings with the Philharmonia included Rimsky-Korsakov's Antar and Easter Festival Overture with Svetlanov. He can also be heard playing the extended cadenza in Bantock's Fifine at the Fair, with the Royal Philharmonic, on the 1992 Hyperion disc.

Roy's professional career began when, as a student of Reginald Kell at the Royal Academy of Music, he was invited to become Principal Clarinet with the Sadlers Wells Opera Orchestra (now English National Opera), where one of his colleagues was James Galway. After four years Roy joined the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra. During his four years in Wales he made many solo and chamber music recordings for the BBC, where his accompanist was the composer and pianist John McCabe. He began his solo career with performances of the concertos of Mozart and Hoddinott. In 1967 he was invited to become Principal Clarinet with both the Royal Philharmonic and the LSO and decided to join the latter.

Roy Jowitt played Peter Eaton clarinets from 1983. "I like a smooth, full sound which I can vary in response to the character of the music. I believe that the clarinet should not have a fixed sound but should have flexibility, to allow variation in colour. I can find this only from Peter's clarinets, which also have intonation as good as you will ever find on a clarinet."


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