Originally from St Albans in Hertfordshire, Isabel Couch graduated with distinction from her Masters in Clarinet at Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2015), having gained first-class honours in her undergraduate degree at the same institution. Whilst at college she studied with internationally renowned clarinetists, including Andrew Marriner, Lorenzo Iosco, Joy Farrall, Andrew Webster and James Burke. Isabel began the clarinet at the age of eight, learning with Angela Crispe in St Albans, a highly regarded local teacher. As a teenager she went on to become principal clarinet of Hertfordshire's County Youth Orchestra under the baton of Peter Stark.
Isabel performs with a range of orchestras, both on clarinet and on bass clarinet. She has appeared a number of times with the Philharmonia Orchestra and is on the bass clarinet extra list for the BBC Symphony Orchestra.Isabel joined Britten Sinfonia for the UK premiere of Šimon Voseček’s opera ‘Biedermann und die Brandstifter’ at Sadler’s Wells (2015) and for a Shakespeare anniversary concert at the Barbican Centre (2016). She performs with several other orchestras across London, including the London International Chamber Orchestra and the London Young Sinfonia.
Isabel is an enthusiastic and experienced chamber musician, having worked with a range of different ensembles. In her second year at Guildhall she won the June Emerson award with her wind quintet and went on to be selected for the highly prestigious Tunnell Trust music course on Coll as part of her clarinet, viola and piano trio (2014). As an example of her work with contemporary chamber music, she performed in the BBC’s Thea Musgrave Immersion weekend at the Barbican Centre (2014). With the pianist Maria Levandovskaya, Isabel is developing imaginative concert programmes mixing duo and solo classical and contemporary repertoire. In a bigger ensemble context, she has featured as a soloist in Bruch’s Viola and Clarinet Concerto with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra (2013) and will be performing Crusell’s Clarinet Concerto No.2 with them in January 2017.
Recently Isabel has begun to work on an exciting new project with internationally acclaimed soprano April Fredrick and Guildhall-based pianist Alice Turner. Performing in varying combinations, they seek to recreate and reinvent the 19th-century soirée. The evenings offer exceptional music-making alongside food and conversation, in a relaxed interactive setting. The aim is to bring the highest level of professional concert performance to homes, widening audiences’ direct experience of classical music. They have performed across London, including in Tower Hamlets, Stoke Newington, Clapton and Dalston. If you’d like more information about how the house concerts work, or are interested in hosting a house concert, please get in touch via the contact page.