William Blayney is highly regarded as a soloist, clinician, and clarinet pedagogue. His wide range of experience extends from playing with the Atlanta and Seattle Symphonies, opera and ballet companies in New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, and Seattle, to playing First Clarinet on Broadway and on movie soundtracks such as Die Hard III, and for the Disney Studios’ re-scoring of classic cartoons from the 1930s and 40s for their television show “Sing Me A Story”.
Since moving to Seattle in 1987 he has performed as Principal Clarinet in all of Seattle’s top musical organizations, including the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Fifth Avenue Theatre, and Northwest Chamber Orchestra. His many performances with the Seattle Symphony include radio broadcasts, telecasts of the openings of Benaroya Hall and Safeco Field, the Rolling Requiem and the first net-cast of an orchestral concert. He is on many of the SSO’s CDs including the premiere recording of David Diamond’s 11th Symphony on which he plays First Clarinet. Currently he is Principal Clarinet of the Seattle Philharmonic.
Upon receipt of his Bachelor of Music Degree in Clarinet Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, he was invited to teach in their Preparatory Department. While in Baltimore he also taught at the Baltimore High School for the Performing Arts and the University of Maryland (UMBC). In a Kennedy Center Performance the Washington Post praised the “expert performances of Debussy Rhapsodie and Brahms Sonata by clarinetist William Blayney.”
Known also for his interest in and knowledge of historical clarinetists and their recorded legacy, he is preparing a series of historical recordings of Great Clarinetists of the 20th Century.
At the ICA Convention in Assisi, Italy, in July, 2013, Mr. Blayney will give a lecture on Cyrille Rose and five of his great students which will feature recordings dating back to the 1890s. He will also perform Ponchielli’s “Il Convegno” with fellow Buffet Artist Robert DiLutis. Mr. Blayney’s three clarinet teachers were all noted for their beauty of sound and expressive musicality. They were his father, Donald R. Blayney, Ignatius Gennusa, and David Weber.