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Rare clarinet treat at Conway Hall

19 September, 2019 — By Michael White

Clarinettist Peter Cigleris. Photo: Andrew Bowles

THE composer Arthur Benjamin is famous for one thing: a piano duet called Jamaican Rumba that he wrote in the 1930s which used to be played persistently in the days when piano duets were fashionable. For almost every­thing else, he’s forgotten.

But he was an Australian who came to the Uk to study, stayed here and, among other things, wrote a clarinet quintet in 1913 that was never performed – perhaps because he was only 20 at the time.

This Sunday (September 22) it gets a seriously belated UK premiere at Conway Hall from clarinettist Peter Cigleris with the Tippett Quartet who have also dug out another rarity: a clarinet quintet by Frederick Durrant that was apparently played at Conway Hall in 1946 but has never been heard since.

If you collect obscure English repertoire, you’ll be in your element. If not, there’s the comfort of Brahms’s clarinet quintet also on the programme.

• 6.30pm, September 22, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL, 020 7405 1818,

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