The Phoenix Clarinet Quartet has made history by winning the first International Clarinet Quartet Competition, Clarinettism, established in honour of Spanish clarinettist Antonio Romero.

RNCM alumnae Rocio Bolanos, Suzanne Clare, Hannah McCabe and Caroline Waddington, performed a 30 minute programme for the final, which took place in Albaida, Spain on 20 July, impressing adjudicators Josep Fuster, Principal clarinet of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and international solo performer, Enrique Pérez Piquer, Principal clarinet of the National Orchestra of Spain and international solo performer, and Superior Conservatoire of Alicante clarinet teachers Rafa Albert Soler and Carlos Lacruz.

‘We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded first prize,’ said Suzanne, speaking on behalf of the quartet. ‘Winning the competition has given us a huge boost and the coaching we received prior to the final from three of Spain’s top clarinettists has been invaluable.’

In addition to a cash prize, the quartet will now have the opportunity to perform a concert in Spain next year.