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Chinese clarinettist Junnan Sun (26) currently holds the principal clarinet position in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa.

He moved to South Africa in 2003 and obtained his BMus (Hons) at the University of Pretoria under the tutelage of Lizet Smith in 2011. He continued his studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London where he studied with Michael Collins, Richard Hosford and Janet Hilton, obtaining a Masters of Performance (specialising in Orchestral Studies) with distinction. His studies in the UK were made possible by the Wilkins-Mackerras Scholarship from the RCM, and the P.J. Lemmer UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship.

Junnan has been the recipient of numerous awards, highlights of which include: first prize in the Clarinet Category at the Stockholm International Music Competition (2014); Outstanding Young Artist Award, awarded to him by the Provincial Government of Jiangsu Province, China (2014); RCM Clarinet Prize which recognizes the top clarinettist of the RCM (2014); RCM Savage Club Prize for the best performance of a concerto (2014); Over-all winner of the RCM Concerto Competition (2013); and the RCM Rising Star award (2013). Junnan was also named the over-all winner of five South African music competitions, namely the ATKV National Classical Music Competition (2015), the UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship Competition (2011), the Phillip Moore Music Competition (2010), the UNISA South African Music Scholarship Competition (2009), and the Lubner Solo Music Competition (2008).

As an orchestral musician Junnan has worked with foremost conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington, Wolfram Christ and Daniel Raiskin amongst others. He has performed solo and chamber music recitals in concert venues abroad – such as the Berlin Konzerthaus (Germany), the Royal Albert Hall (UK), the Royal Festival Hall (UK), Cadogen Hall (UK), the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall (UK), and St. Paul’s Cathedral (UK) – as well as prominent concert venues in South Africa, including, but not limited to, the Baxter Hall in Cape Town, the Endler Hall in Stellenbosch, the Durban City Hall, the Linder Auditorium and the UNISA Enoch Santonga Hall. Junnan has appeared as a soloist with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra, and the South African National Youth Orchestra. Junnan was the soloist for the first annual concert featuring the combined orchestra of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Junnan has performed at and been interviewed by radio stations such as Classic FM and East Coast Radio.

Junnan has received masterclasses from prominent clarinettists, the likes of which include Andrew Marriner (London Symphony), Anthony McGill (New York Philharmonic), Robert Pickup (Zurich Opera House), Mate Bekavac (international soloist), Einar Johannesson (Iceland Symphony), and Robert Plane (BBC Welsh Symphony).

Junnan regularly performs solo and chamber music recitals around South Africa in prestigious concert series’ including the Cape Town concert series, the Durban Friends of Music concert series, The UNISA concert series, Johannesburg Music Society concert series, Hermanus FynArts Music Festival, Hilton Music Festival and the Michaelhouse Music Festival. Recent highlights involve a sold-out tour of South Africa as soloist for the Last Night of the Proms concert series with Richard Cock, and teaching and performing as a faculty member of the Xiquitsi International Music Festival in Maputo, Mozambique. Receiving rave reviews as “the magician of the clarinet” (Paul Boekkooi – Die Burger), and hailed for possessing “consummate technical mastery” (William Charlton-Perkins – Junnan Sun has quickly become South Africa’s foremost clarinettist.

Junnan plays BG DUO Ligature