Lakeside Arts
Part of University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts
Event Detail
Sarah Watts & SCAW Duo

Feeding the Beast: New Works for Bass & Contrabass Clarinet

Sunday 29 November, 7.30pm
Online Event


Sarah Watts (bass & contrabass clarinets)
Antony Clare (piano)

Elizabeth Kelly Into the Depths
Annachiara Gedda Memoriale II
Tom Williams Weighed Down by Light
Thomas Whitcombe Undulating Depths
Miroslav Spasov Idiosyncrasies

Nottingham clarinetist Sarah Watts has become internationally recognised as one of the leading performaers of low clarinets. This concert features new music written for her to perform on bass clarinet and the lowest, largest member of her clarinet collection – the contrabass clarinet – which she affectionately refers to as ‘the beast’.

The programme includes some of the first works she commissioned for ‘the beast’ by Midlands composers Elizabeth Kelly (University of Nottingham), Tom Williams (Coventry University), and Miroslav Spasov (Keele University), as well as works she selected from our international call for scores.


To see full line up, please visit the main festival page  Blue arrow linking to festival main page

About the artists (click to expand)

Sarah Watts outside with mountain background

Sarah Watts specialises in solo bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet. She teaches bass clarinet at RNCM and is Director of Performance at Sheffield University. Sarah’s publication ‘Spectral Immersions; A Comprehensive Guide to the Theory and Practice of Bass Clarinet Multiphonics’ has been recognised as the leading source in this field of contemporary techniques and she has released recordings for Clarinet Classics, Cuillin Sound and Hyperion Records. Her new solo contrabass clarinet CD was released in early 2020. She performs with rarescale, SCAW and Hard Rain Soloist ensemble. Sarah is an artist for Henri Selmer Paris, Vandoren Paris and Silverstein.

SCAW (Sarah Watts - bass clarinet and Antony Clare - piano) was formed in 2003 with the aim of promoting the repertoire for bass clarinet and piano in the UK and abroad whilst also attracting composers to write new works for the combination. SCAW have performed in many festivals, concert societies and broadcasts in the UK and abroad. Since its formation SCAW has premiered works by composers Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Dai Fujikura, Piers Hellawell, Iain Matheson, Elizabeth Winters, Dave Bennett Thomas, and William Sweeney, amongst others.

Anthony Clare photographed looking over a piano

Antony Clare is a teacher, performer and composer who was born and lives in Nottingham, UK. He read music at York University and has subsequently combined piano and clarinet teaching with a range of performing activities. He is one half of the duo SCAW (with Sarah Watts, bass clarinet/contra-bass clarinet), who have given many concerts and world premiere performances throughout the UK and abroad.

As a composer, Antony has (amongst other things) many crazy pieces for one or more bass clarinets to his name. His music has been performed in the UK, Europe and the USA.



Contrabass clarinetist Sarah Watts (Sheffield University) joins the first composers she commissioned to compose for her specially made Selmer contrabass clarinet – Tom Williams (Coventry University) and Elizabeth Kelly (University of Nottingham) to discuss their approaches to this unusual instrument – the lowest, largest member of the clarinet family.

blue sound wave