Name: Henry Wang
How did you come to play the clarinet?
That’s a funny story. My parents knew I wanted to learn a wind instrument, so they decided to take me to visit a flute teacher they happened to know. The flute teacher wasn’t home but the clarinet teacher was, so I was accepted by the clarinet teacher. And that’s how my clarinet career started.
What’s the hardest part about playing the clarinet?
I think it’s the same as with most musical instruments: to truly transfer your feelings and thoughts to the audience. As for the techniques, everyone can achieve a high level through practice. But it’s really difficult to understand the music and express it properly through your performance.
What do you love most about your instrument?
It has many different personalities – the lower notes sound deep and sad, the medium notes are youthful and vibrant, and the higher notes are sharp and intense. The sound changes with the music and the mood.
If you could play any other instrument, what would it be and why?
I’d choose cello, because I’ve always liked the cello’s sound. I gave it up as a kid because of my crooked little finger. Otherwise, I would have kept learning it because it is very elegant and expressive, with many possibilities.
How different is playing in a band from playing solo?
I usually play solo or chamber music with friends. I don’t really like playing in a big orchestra, because it’s a little restraining. Playing solo is free and personal, and I can express all my thoughts and feelings to the audience without holding anything back. When playing in a small chamber band and collaborating with musicians, you appreciate and produce a harmony. When musicians understand each other enough to play a song together without even having to talk to one another, it’s a very pleasant thing.