Chinese clarinetist Junnan Sun is the newly appointed co-principal clarinetist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Recently resigned from lecturer post at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and the principal clarinet post at the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra after four years of service. He moved to South Africa in 2003 and obtained his BMus 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. Junnan still receives coaching and guidance from the renowned South African clarinetist Robert Pickup. His studies in the UK were made possible by the Sir 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 Professional award, from the Government of Jiangsu Province, China (2014); RCM Clarinet Prize which recognises the top clarinetist 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 among others. Most recently, Junnan was invited by Justus Frantz to tour China and Germany with The World Peace Philharmonic Orchestra as their principal clarinetist. He has performed in concert venues around the world such as the Berlin Konzerthaus, Lübeck Music and Congress Hall, Hannover Kuppelsaal, Wuppertal Historische Stadthalle in Germany; the Jiangsu Grand Theatre in China; the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Cadogen Hall, the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, and St. Paul’s Cathedral in England; the Cape Town City Hall, the Baxter Hall, the Endler Hall, the Durban City Hall, the Linder Auditorium and the UNISA Enoch Santonga, Miriam Makeba and ZK Matthew Hall in South Africa.
Junnan has appeared as a soloist with The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, The Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, The Eastern Cape 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, East Coast and Fine Music Radio.
Alongside his performing career, Junnan is also passionate about passing on his knowledge to the younger generation of musicians. He is an enthusiastic music educator, and some of his students have gone on to win auditions at prestigious music conservatories such as the Shanghai Conservatory and the Nanjing Conservatory in China. Junnan regularly gives masterclasses across Southern Africa, and he is on the woodwind faculties of the South African National Youth Orchestra, The Harare Chamber Music Festival in Zimbabwe and the Xiquitsi International Music Festival in Maputo, Mozambique.
Junnan regularly performs solo and chamber music recitals around Southern Africa in prestigious concert series and festivals including the Cape Town Concert Series, the Durban Friends of Music Concert Series, The UNISA Concert Series, Music Revival Concert Series with Chris Duigan, Johannesburg Music Society Concert Series, Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, Hermanus FynArts Music Festival, Greyton Music Festival, Hilton Music Festival, Michaelhouse Music Festival, Xiquitsi International Music Festival in Mozambique and The Harare Chamber Music Festival in Zimbabwe. Recent highlights involve a sold-out concerto performance at the Cape Town City Hall with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Martin Penteleev and Daniel Prozesky and two well received recitals at the Cape Town and UNISA Concert Series.
In 2017 he was a part of a sold-out tour of South Africa as soloist for the Last Night of the Proms concert series with Richard Cock. Receiving rave reviews as “the magician of the clarinet” (Paul Boekkooi – Die Burger), and hailed for possessing “consummate technical mastery” (William Charlton-Perkins – www.artlink.co.za).
Junnan Sun performs exclusively on Selmer Privilège clarinets.