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Neil was born in Nottinghamshire in 1976.  His musical education started with piano lessons at the age of eight with Jazz pianist Bert Hartley.  He began learning the clarinet at school at the age of thirteen with Roy Hinson, and in 1992 commenced lessons with Roy's son, the distinguished clarinettist Nigel Hinson.  


In 1995 he was awarded a place at London's Trinity College of Music, where his principal teachers were Keith Puddy (clarinet and 18th century clarinet) and Anthony Jennings (bass clarinet).  Alongside he received tuition in orchestral repertoire, wind chamber music, related instruments (saxophone, basset horn, E flat clarinet), Jazz arrangement & composition, improvisation, history/anaylsis, pedagogic skills and participated in regular performance workshops with a number of celebrated musicians including Nicholas Bucknall, Stan Sulzman, Wissam Boustany, Frank Celata, Ian Herbert,  Mark Van der Wiel and Gerard McCrystal.   

After graduating from TCM in 1999 with a Bachelor of Music Degree, Neil continued his studies at the University of Surrey, studying clarinet with Alexander Allen, and was awarded a Master of Music Degree in 2000.  

Neil enjoys a varied career as performer and teacher and is based in Hampshire.