Wouter van Diepen

Wouter van Diepen with his Peter Eaton clarinet. Photograph by Jasper Grijpink. Wouter van Diepen is a Dutch freelance musician, working as an orchestral and chamber music clarinet player. He studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and took private lessons with Gervase de Peyer in London.

Wouter plays on a regular basis with Sinfonia Rotterdam and Nationaal Symfonisch Kamerorkest and as a freelancer with several other orchestras in The Netherlands. In England he played as guest principal in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Being an active chamber music player, Wouter performs with such ensembles as Rondine Winds and particularly as a member of the Schulhoff Trio, with oboist Christopher Bouwman and bassoonist Bram van Sambeek. The Schulhoff Trio, founded in 2001, played in major chamber music venues such as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, performed for Dutch national radio and television and made an extensive tour of India.

Wouter plays a Peter Eaton International A clarinet and a Peter Eaton International Special Edition Bb clarinet.

"My change to Peter Eaton clarinets in 2004 was a very conscious one. I was looking for instruments that had to be quite different from the clarinets I used at the time and I was determined to follow nothing else than my personal taste and intuition. In short, I wanted to go back to the slowly matured sound-image that once made me fall in love with the clarinet.

After having tried quite a few instruments from different makers I visited Peter Eaton's workshop with a very good friend and we were both immediately impressed by the quality of his clarinets and by Peter Eaton's noticeable expertise. I highly respect Peter Eaton for making these precious instruments.

I think their musical qualities are best described by saying that they combine a large warm sound with the possibility of bright harmonics. Having said this, I realise how difficult it is to put into words a personal playing experience. I would say, however, that in a concert hall, they have a certain brilliant resonance which I consider to be the sign of a really special instrument. This particularly interesting set of qualities has always been one of the things that inspired me in the art of some of the great British players of the past and in my opinion Peter Eaton succeeded in capturing these characteristics in a modern instrument.

Interestingly, while allowing a very personal style, these flexible instruments are at the same time extremely useful in modern orchestral practise which requires the blending of differently orientated players. Finally, Peter Eaton clarinets are extremely well built. The keywork is indestructible, which not only gives a very comfortable feel but also means that there is hardly any more need to visit a repairman."

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