Cliff Wybrow was born in South Africa and studied the clarinet with Mario Trinchero, graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a B.Mus (Hons). He won the prestigious Jim Joel Music Competition as well as the Woodwind category of the SABC Music Competition and it was the success in the former competition that brought him to England to study with Jack Brymer OBE at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His passion for the clarinet was due to the encouragement he received from these two musicians. Mario Trinchero’s inspiration was the driving force which led Cliff to achieve the position of Co-Principal Clarinet in the National Symphony Orchestra of the South African Broadcasting Corporation as well as Principal Clarinet in the Transvaal Chamber Orchestra. As a concerto soloist Cliff appeared with both orchestras and performed extensively in Southern Africa as well as on tour to South America. It was also a great privilege to have studied under Jack Brymer, an amazing musician, a remarkable teacher and one of the leading clarinet players of the twentieth century. Jack Brymer recorded Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto commercially on three occasions and was fond of telling people that he shared a birthday with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!
Cliff has been principal clarinet with the Prometheus Orchestra since its inception in 2008. The core repertoire of the orchestra which consists of Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn is an exciting challenge for clarinet players – as these composers were experimenting with the clarinet, an instrument still in its infancy. Modern clarinet technique developed out of the demands made by these composers.
Being a passionate exponent of the clarinet and being part of an accomplished band of musicians are the driving factors that connect Cliff to his life as a musician and teacher. He has been inspired to teach future generations, as clarinet tutor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg as well as schools in East Anglia, including King’s College and St John’s College Schools in Cambridge.
Cliff is a regular soloist with Prometheus Orchestra. He played Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in two concerts at Felixstowe and Aldeburgh in March 2017. In 2014, he was one of four soloists in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn.