is one of the world’s finest clarinettists, excelling as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, jazz artist, masterclass leader and tireless musical explorer. He has inspired a generation of young players as creator of his Conn-Selmer range of affordable clarinets, and introduced a substantial new audience to his instrument.
Julian started playing the clarinet aged 4, going on to study at the University of Indiana and in Germany under Sabine Meyer.
In recital and chamber music he has played at most of the world’s leading festivals and venues including Wigmore Hall and Lincoln Center. He has appeared as soloist with a range of international orchestras including São Paolo Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Paris, Auckland Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic orchestras.
In 2010 he established the Julian Bliss Septet, inspired by Benny Goodman, and released the first Septet album in 2012. They have performed to packed houses at Ronnie Scott’s (London), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) and across the USA, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, and have gone on to explore the music of Gershwin and his Tin Pan Alley contemporaries.
Album releases include his recording of Mozart and Nielsen’s concertos with the Royal Northern Sinfonia. His latest chamber discs include David Bruce’s Gumboots for clarinet and string quartet, plus the Mozart and Weber quintets, with the Carducci Quartet.
Recent highlights include concerto performances with the Northern Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, an extensive US tour with his septet, and concerts with the Carducci Quartet.
Since their debut at London’s Southbank Centre, they have appeared at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, at festivals from Brighton and Cheltenham to St. Magnus, and from Gregynog to Huddersfield. They regularly perform across the Irish Sea at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Kilkenny Festival and Belfast Festival at Queens as well as overseas in Shanghai, Porto, Paris, Venice, Florence, Johannesburg, New York City, Princeton, San Francisco and Boston.
Their extensive discography includes Ravel and Saint-Saëns for Resonus Classics; Philip Glass Head On; Korngold and Schoenberg (Verklärte Nacht arr. Steuermann) for Naxos; the complete Michael Nyman Piano Trios for MN Records; multiple releases on NMC, Delphian Records including portrait CDs for composers such as Luke Bedford and Michael Zev Gordon. Their recent release of French Piano Trios for Resonus was a Gramophone Magazine Critic’s Choice.
Keen to ensure the future development of the piano trio, The Fidelio Trio work closely with composition and performance students at institutions across the UK and all over the world including the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, NYU, NAFA Singapore, and Stellenbosch Conservatorium South Africa. They have been artists-in-residence at St. Patrick’s College Dublin City University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the State University of New York, SUNY.
The Fidelio Trio are constantly commissioning new works, giving first performances, and importantly, further performances to introduce them into the repertory. Composers that the Trio have worked closely with include Toshio Hosokawa, Charles Wuorinen, Johannes Maria Staud, Michael Nyman, Gerald Barry, Donnacha Dennehy, Joe Cutler, Evan Ziporyn, Simon Bainbridge, Judith Weir… to name but few.
Inspirational musicians The Fidelio Trio have collaborated with include Nicholas Daniel (oboe), Richard Watkins (horn), Joan Rodgers and Patricia Rozario (soprano), Rachel Roberts (viola), and with spoken word, author Alexander McCall Smith and T.S. Eliot prizewinning poet Sinéad Morrissey.
2017/18 saw tours of USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe and China, many festival appearances including a Schubert cycle at Kilkenny Arts Festival. Collaborations included new piano trio commissions from Kevin Volans and Alexander Goehr and a world premiere recording of two works by Philip Glass for his label Orange Mountain. They continued their residency at the National Concert Hall in Dublin; undertook a further tour of China and recordings included Gerald Barry’s Chamber Music for Mode Records and a second instalment of French Piano Trios (Chausson, Fauré and Satie) for Resonus Classics. 2018/19 season sees multiple performances of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto including with RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, a further USA East Coast tour, a BBC broadcast recital for Spitalfields Festival and multiple CD releases.
They are Artistic Directors of their annual Winter Chamber Music Festival at Belvedere House, Dublin City University and continue to be passionate in their advocacy for the piano trio across the world.
The …virtuosic Fidelio Trio… (Sunday Times) are Darragh Morgan, violin, Adi Tal, cello and Mary Dullea, piano. Shortlisted for the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, the Fidelio Trio are enthusiastic champions of the piano trio genre, performing the widest possible range of repertoire on concert stages across the world; they are broadcast regularly on BBC Radio 3, RTÉ Lyric FM, WNYC, NPR and featured on Sky Arts documentaries; they have an impressive list of commissions and first performances from the leading and newest composers and have a large discography of highly acclaimed recordings.