Harry Sparnaay passed away

Published on

It is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of Harry Sparnaay, bass clarinettist and former teacher at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

After graduating as a clarinettist from the Sweelinck Conservatorium (now the Conservatorium van Amsterdam), Harry Sparnaay became a true pioneer of the bass clarinet. He actively promoted the instrument by founding the Bass Clarinet Collective, and developed the then small repertoire for solo bass clarinet by asking composers to write works for him, resulting in more than five hundred pieces for solo bass clarinet. Together with flutist Harrie Sparnaay and pianist René Eckhard he formed ‘Het Trio’.

In 1972 he joined the woodwinds faculty at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where he was an inspiration to the next generation of bass clarinettists until his retirement in 2010.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.