20 Jan 2011

LAUNCH OF WORLD’S FIRST FSC-CERTIFIED WOODWIND INSTRUMENT

On Monday 24th January 2011, UK clarinet manufacturer, Hanson is launching a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified clarinet, the first responsibly produced woodwind instrument of its kind in the world.

To mark this landmark occasion, Lynsey Marsh, principal clarinettist with the Hallé, will give a short performance with pianist Darius Battiwalla at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

The FSC-certified Hanson clarinet is made from African blackwood, a species which is rapidly disappearing due to over-exploitation, primarily for the woodwind industry. The woodwind industry is one of the primary drivers of illegal logging with as much as 96% of wood exported from countries such as Tanzania being harvested illegally. FSC-certification ensures that wood is harvested responsibly, legally and guarantees that forest-dependent people are fully rewarded for the use of the resources that are the basis of their livelihoods.

Alastair Hanson, Hanson co-founder said: “We are proud to become the world’s first FSC-certified maker of woodwind instruments. We buy our wood responsibly to help safeguard the hugely valuable natural resources of the tropical forests that provide the material needed to make clarinets.”

Mike Chandler, Chairman of Environment Africa Trust, which has funded the Sound & Fair campaign to develop the market for FSC-certified African blackwood, said: “The launch of this world-first FSC-certified Hanson clarinet marks the culmination of over 15 years of vision and hard work involving the forest-dependent people of Tanzania, who are amongst the world’s poorest communities. The wood in the clarinet has made a pioneering journey and it is immensely satisfying seeing the finished instrument the hands of celebrated musicians such as Lynsey Marsh.”

Both Alastair Hanson and Mike Chandler will be speaking ahead of Lynsey Marsh’s performance and there will be opportunities for questions and photos with all parties and the instrument. Afterwards the event will be opened up to Royal Northern College of Music woodwind students giving them the opportunity to try the instrument for themselves.

Lynsey Marsh – Biography

Lynsey was appointed Principal Clarinet with the Hallé in 2001. Before moving to Manchester, she was a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the orchestra of English National Opera. Lynsey studied at Chetham’s School of Music with Barry Gregson and Graham Turner, both former members of the Hallé, and went on the read music at Cambridge University.

Whilst at Cambridge, she was awarded the Gold Medal in the Shell/London Symphony Orchestra Scholarship, and was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra.  As a postgraduate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she studied with Joy Farrall and Thea King, and spent a second postgraduate year studying in Paris with Pascal Moragues.

Lynsey plays guest principal with many British orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has given recitals for BBC Radio 3, and appeared at festivals throughout Britain, including Aldeburgh and Cheltenham.  A member of the Marais Ensemble, Lynsey helped found the annual Potton Music Festival, which is now in its seventh year. Lynsey has performed at the Wigmore Hall as a guest with the Nash Ensemble, and the Purcell Room with the Marais Ensemble.  Abroad, she has performed with the Wind Soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, including concerts at the Tanglewood International Festival and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York.

Download press release – Launch of world’s first FSC-certified clarinet – Jan 2011

See pictures from the FSC clarinet launch at The Royal Northern College of Music

Watch BBC News video of the FSC clarinet

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