Music Director

Walter Brewster

Walter’s musical interests began with clarinet lessons at the age of 10. Early visits to concerts in London introduced him to the playing of Jack Brymer and Gervase de Peyer who were both strong influences. At the age of 16 he began to specialise in music and spent two years at the Winchester School of Art, studying clarinet with John Candor who at this time was a Professor of Clarinet at Trinity College of Music.

At 18 he won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music with Sidney Fell where he later won the coveted Frederick Thurston Prize. A period at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies led to playing with some of the world’s great conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Colin Davis and Lorin Maazel. Regular engagements followed with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. Presently Walter is an extra player for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

As a soloist he has performed at the Harrogate, Winchester and Fakenham festivals and particularly enjoys performing chamber music. In recent years he has performed the Mozart, Brahms and Weber clarinet quintets at the St. Stephen’s May Festival in Bournemouth. A number of composers have written works especially for him including Martin Butler, Avril Anderson, Stephen Solloway and Rick Birley.

Walter is also active as a pianist, accompanying soloists, pupils and performance groups. He has a particularly strong interest in 19th century piano music and the golden age of pianists from that era until the present day.

In his educational work, Walter taught for Dorset Music Service for over 25 years and during much of this time he was closely associated with Dorset Youth Orchestra. As Director of the orchestra he planned many ambitious tours and events setting up strong associations with other youth orchestras in France, Sweden and Colombia. His association with Dorset Chamber Orchestra goes back almost to the initial concert. In the early years he was principal clarinet and also Chairman of the orchestra. He performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto on three occasions with DChO.