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Antony Pay was born in London, and gained his early experience playing the clarinet in the National Youth Orchestra, with which he also played concertos in Germany, Russia and Scandinavia at the age of 16.
He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and then read Mathematics at CambridgeUniversity, graduating in 1966. He was Principal Clarinet of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from 1968 to 1978, of the London Sinfonietta (of which he was a founder member) from 1968 to 1983 and of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields from 1976 to 1986. He has also been a member of several chamber ensembles, including the Nash Ensemble, the London Ensemble, the Tuckwell Wind Quintet, the Academy of St.Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble, and Hausmusik. With the London Sinfonietta he collaborated with many of today's leading composers, including Boulez, Stockhausen, Birtwistle, Henze, Maxwell Davies, Goehr and Berio. He was also Professor of Clarinet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1982 to 1990 and taught at the Royal Academy of Music, where he continues to give occasional Masterclasses.
He regularly teaches courses abroad, including classes in Sermoneta, Portogruaro and FirenzeItaly, and has also given Masterclasses in Tokyo, France, Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

Antony Pay also performs on period clarinets, and his recordings of the
Mozart, Weber and Crusell Concertos are played on specially reconstructed instruments. He currently plays in Hausmusik and also with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, where he is a frequent soloist. He has written for the Journal Early Music, and contributed a chapter to the Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet. He is working on a book concerned mainly with the use of metaphor in teaching and in learning to play. He now teaches a Summer-course at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena.
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