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Neil enjoys a varied performing career that encompasses symphonic, theatre and opera orchestral playing, chamber music and recital work.   He has worked with many notable conductors including Martyn Brabbins, Ryan Wigglesworth, Andrea Quinn and Diego Masson, and performed with singers and musicians including Sir John Tomlinson, Mark Padmore, Roderick Williams, Daniel Pailthorpe, Phillip Fowke, Andrew West and Joanna MacGregor.  He works regularly with a number of professional orchestras including South of England Festival Orchestra, Merriman Concert Orchestra, Chameleon Arts Orchestra and the Orchestra of Surrey Opera.

With Surrey Opera he has performed many of the 18th, 19th and 20th century's greatest operas, and been involved in the world premiere of two neglected British operas: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's "Thelma" and George LLoyd's "Iernin".

In 2002 Neil co-founded the clarinet quartet Ensemble 4.  The quartet had an eclectic repertoire of pieces including a number of Neil's own arrangements.  They performed regularly across the UK and abroad at concert venues ranging from the great cathedrals and castles of England & Scotland through to small libraries. In 2005 they undertook a Channel Islands Music Council Tour which saw them performing recitals on Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney and Sark. After given the UK premiere of Joseph Vella's "Contrasts op.104", they were invited to perform at Malta's Victoria International Arts Festival in 2008. 

Other chamber music experience includes performances of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, Poulenc's Sextet for Piano and Winds and Bax's Nonet with the ensemble Linoi.   

Neil has also worked with the renowned St Endellion Festival Orchestra for their summer series of concerts.  He was involved in performances of Wagner's epic opera Die Walküre, Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, Beethoven's Mass in C, Brahm's First Piano Concerto, Gounod's Petite Symphonie and a semi-staged version of Puccini's masterpiece La bohème.   

Neil also performs as a recitalist with the pianist Matthew Rickard. 

Neil's Instruments and equipment

Bb and A Clarinets: Selmer Recital

 Alto saxophone: Yanagisawa 

Tenor Saxophone: 1950's Noblet Standard

Bass Clarinet: 1960's Uebel

Eb Clarinet: Bossey and Hawkes Imperial

 Mouthpieces: Brad Behn (Leslie Craven model), Pillinger, Otto Link, Selmer Concept, Weinberg Zenith

Reeds: Marca, Vandoren and Legere

Selected forthcoming performances


Saturday 8 February 2020, St John's Smith Square, Westminster: 'Viennese Triumphs' with the Chameleon Arts Orchestra: programme of  Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn. 

 11 - 14 March 2020, Camberley Theatre: Gilbert & Sullivan's Ruddigore.

Saturday 4 April 2020, Harpenden Methodist Church: Mozart Mass in C Minor with the Burley Ensemble

Saturday 2 May 2020, Sherbourne Abbey: Elgar's The Kingdom with Chameleon Arts Orchestra

Saturday 16 May 2020, Tewkesbury Abbey: 'Music From Italy- Verdi & Puccini' with Chameleon Arts Orchestra

12-13 June 2020, St Magdalene's Church, Croydon: Mozart's Don Giovanni with Surrey Opera

13-17 July 2020, Minack Theatre, Cornwall: Mozart's Don Giovanni with Surrey Opera

Selected past performances



 Ensemble 4




Aug  2002: Culzean Arts Guild, Culzean Castle


Feb  2003: Tithe Barn, Wellingborough


Mar  2003: University of Essex


Jan  2003: St James’s Church Piccadilly


Apr  2003: Cheltenham Town Hall


May 2003: ‘Live in the Libraries’ County Durham


May 2003: Warwick Arts Centre


Jun  2003: Ewenny Festival


Aug 2003:  Cranleigh Arts Centre


Nov 2003: Boston Concert Club


Feb 2004: Middleton Hall, University of Hull


Mar 2004: Bude Music Society


Aug 2004: Guest artists at Hindhead clarinet & saxophone course


Oct 2004: Tithe Barn, Wellingborough


Nov 2004  Hemel Hempstead Music Society


Jan 2005: St Anne & St Agnes, London


Apr 2005: Sleaford Music Club


May2005: Chipping Sodbury Music Society


Jun 2005: Channel Islands Music Council Tour


Aug 2005: St Lawrence Jewry Music Festival


Mar 2006: Bideford Music Club


Jun 2006: Great Bowden Recital Series


Jul  2006:   Private Recital Gloucestershire


Aug 2006: Chichester Cathedral Concert Series


Sep 2006: Tithe Barn, Wellingborough


Aug 2007: St Lawrence Jewry Music Festival


July 2008: Victoria International Arts Festival, Malta


Oct 2009:  Music at St. Mary Magdelene’s, London


Mar 2010:  Farnborough Music Society 




Surrey Opera




2003: Macbeth


2004: Fiddler on the Roof


2004: The Magic Flute


2005: Peter Grimes


2006: A Masked Ball


2007: The Mikado


2008: The Merry Wives of Windsor


2009: Madama Butterfly


2009: The Barber of Seville


2010: My Fair Lady


2010: The Bartered Bride


2011: The Gondoliers


2012: Thelma


2013: Iernin

2014: Camelot

2016: A Midsummer Night's Dream

2018: Candide

2019: The Barber of Seville




Linoi Ensemble




Apr   2001:  Holy Trinity Church, Guildford


Sep   2001:  Holy Trinity Church, Guildford


Jun   2002:   St Ann & St Agnes Church, London


Nov  2004:  Cranleigh Arts Centre


Jul    2005:  Charlton House Recital Series


May  2006:  Lord Wandsworth College




St Endellion Festival Orchestra

2011  Summer Festival

2014  Summer Festival



Hickling/Rickard Duo




 Apr 2010:  Recital ‘British Music for clarinet & piano’, St Peter's Concert Series, Old Woking


Nov 2012: Recital ‘The Singing Clarinet’, St Peter's Concert Series, Old Woking


Nov 2014: Recital 'Something Borrowed', St Peter's Concert Series, Old Woking





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