23 year old Som Howie started learning the clarinet at the age of 11, studying under Mark Walton up until he began his studies at the Conservatorium of Music Sydney in 2008. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance in 2012 having studied with Frank Celata, Cathy McCorkill and Sue Newsome.
Som received his AMus in clarinet at the age of 17 and in the same year was selected to perform at the Opera House in Encore, a concert for the most outstanding HSC music students. In 2009 he won the Conservatorium Concerto competition and in 2012 was a Grand Finalist in the ABC Young Performers Awards, performing the Copland Clarinet Concerto with both Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Western Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Som has played with the Australian Youth Orchestra since 2011 and has performed as a guest musician with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Sydney Symphony’s Sinfonia programme. Som has also played as guest principal clarinettist with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and with the Sydney Lyric Orchestra during the Paris Opera Ballet tour to Australia in 2013.
In 2013, Som completed a 12-month fellowship with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and won the Musica Viva Chamber Music Competition as well as the Australasian Clarinet and Saxophone Conference Competition.
Som is now living in London performing with Southbank Sinfonia. He will also return to Australia in March as Australian Pianist Kathryn Selbys’ 2014 Developing Artist, touring and premiering a new work written for clarinet, piano and cello by cellist, Clancy Newman.
Som loves spending time with family and friends, and really enjoys playing football and cricket. He can’t wait to go and watch the football live in London!
If you were going to be sent to a desert island, which three items would you take with you?
An eski full of beer, a BBQ and my clarinet. Might as well enjoy it while I can and at the same time I can practice as late or as long as I want without bothering the neighbours!
If you could play another instrument, what would it be and why?
Probably trumpet. I’m not sure why, I just remember wanting to play it in primary school but the school didn’t have any more trumpets when I went it was my turn to choose an instrument.
Som’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by Margaret Rodgers.