As well as being a professionai musician, playing both clarinet and piano, Alison Eales also finds time to play lead clarinet with the Hitchin Symphony Orchestra and we are deeply grateful to her for giving tonight’s performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major.
Alison was born in Surrey and moved to Bedford at the age of eleven when she also began studying the piano. Three years later she was awarded an exhlhltion to study at the Royal College of Music Junior Department. During her teens she won a number of competitions and performed regularly in Music Festivals and on local radio. Her first concert performance was at the age of fifteen with Bedford Camerata. At eighteen AIison went as a full time student to the Royal College of Music, studying piano and clarinet; the former with Alan Rowlands and Yu Chun Yee. It was here that she formed a piano duo with pianist Sally Rose and they have since given numerous duo recitals and concert performances in the United Kingdom and Europe, including double concertos by Mozart, Poulenc and Saint Saëns at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. They have also recorded for B.B.C. Radios 3 and 4, VPRO (Netherlands) and B.B.C. and Superchannel cable television, specialising in French Music and contemporary music and giving premièrs of a number of works by English and South African composers.
For the past twelve years Alison has heen Director of Music at Kingshott School, Hitchin and she is also known locally as conductor of Benslow Windtime who have recently returned from a concert tour of Spain.