RPO Player Katy Ayling playing the bass clarinet in concert.
© Ben Wright

Principal Bass Clarinet

Katy Ayling took her studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama before moving on to the Royal Academy of Music to pursue a Master's degree in clarinet performance, where she was the winner of the Buffet Crampon Clarinet Prize in 2009. She was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2015 in light of her musical achievements.

It was only during the last two years of her undergraduate degree at the Guildhall that she took up the bass clarinet with Laurent Ben Slimane, who was pivotal in bridging the gap between studying and working professionally.  

Katy has been Principal Bass Clarinet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014. Alongside this, she has enjoyed a varied freelance career with many orchestras as well as teaching, offering masterclasses and chamber music recitals. Katy feels her love of orchestral playing is largely down to the supportive and enthusiastic atmosphere the RPO is brimming with: 'It has shaped how I feel sitting there doing my job; knowing my colleagues around me are viewing this as a team that we are all striving to uphold. It will remain to be a very special place to work for me, I am very proud and honoured to be a part of this orchestra.'

Katy gratefully acknowledges the support of her Chair Patron, Sophie Gasperment.

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