Robert Plane won the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition in London in 1992 and has since enjoyed an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed concertos in the USA, China, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Malta, and Ireland, performing with orchestras such as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and on tour with the City of London Sinfonia and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He made his BBC Proms concerto debut in 2011 in Simon Holt’s double concerto Centauromachy and has premiered concertos by Piers Hellawell, Nicola LeFanu and Diana Burrell, whose Clarinet Concerto he performed in London’s Barbican Hall.
Hailed by Gramophone for his ‘ravishing lyricism and conviction’ and as the current occupier of ‘the shoes of the late Thea King in his championship of British clarinet music’, he is a successful recording artist, particularly highly regarded for his accounts of Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto and works by Bax (shortlisted for a Gramophone Award), Stanford, Ireland, Howells, Holbrooke, Milford and York Bowen. He has performed with pianist Sophia Rahman since meeting as students at the Royal Academy of Music and highlights of their concerts together have included tours to South America, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and China. He has collaborated with the Gould Piano Trio in concert and on disc for over twenty years and, together, they direct the Corbridge Chamber Music Festival in Northumberland. Their recording of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time was described as the ‘best modern account’ of this monumental work by BBC Music Magazine. Robert features on volume 3 of the Gould Trio’s cycle of the complete Beethoven piano trios, recorded ‘live’ at St. George’s Bristol and released on disc by Somm, as well as on their Brahms cycle for Quartz. He is a frequent guest of distinguished string quartets such as the Skampa, Maggini, Dante, Mandelring, Brodsky and Carducci, the Swiss and Fidelio Piano Trios and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe Soloists.
Robert Plane has held the principal clarinet positions of Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. He is regularly invited to give masterclasses, making an annual visit to the Royal Academy of Music in London as well as giving classes at the Beijing Conservatoire and the San Francisco Conservatory. Together with Sophia Rahman and viola player Philip Dukes, Robert held an eight year long post as Artist-in-Residence at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Robert’s playing can be heard featured on the recent Disney film release Maleficent.