NEXT Musician 2018-19

Stanley began his musical career with Clarinet lessons at the age of 12. After having quickly gained a strong interest in classical music, the many instruments of the orchestra and a particular liking to the bassoon, it was five months later that he additionally took up this instrument when being lucky enough to discover that his head of music at the time had a disused one in her attic. He went on to study at Wells Cathedral School under the tutorage of Peter Harrison and later at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with Meyrick Alexander and Steve Marsden for the Bassoon and Christopher Vale and David Buckland for the Contrabassoon. 

Stanley aspires to be a performer and specialist of contemporary music, and was inspired to do so at the age of 14 when witnessing Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XII for solo Bassoon performed live at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall by its dedicatee Pascal Gallois, who subsequently became his main inspiration. He loves working with composers and has had over 20 both Bassoon and Contrabassoon solo pieces written for him over the past 8 years. 

Why are you looking forward to taking part in NEXT?

I found out about NEXT after hearing the word from Margaret Cookhorn, Bassoonist and Contrabassoonist with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and was very grateful to her for doing so as both of us agreed that it was a fantastic course to suit my passions and desires. As part of the inaugural cohort for NEXT, I am very much looking forward to meeting other people with whom I share a mutual love for contemporary repertoire, the participants, the people of BCMG and other people who will be involved.

I was really pleased to meet oboist Melinda Maxwell and artistic director Stefan Meier in my audition, and am excited about that process continuing to fold out as the BCMG is an organisation that I have admired for a long time and an organisation that I will be very happy to connect with and learn from throughout this course. The projects that are to follow in the year also look highly enjoyable and something I will no doubt be able to delve into with exhilaration.