Propellor is a new cross-genre ensemble with an ambitious vision. 

Soloists, writers and ensemble players have come together from a diverse range of backgrounds to create an immersive live experience.

Jack McNeillDirector, clarinets

Jack McNeill is a clarinettist, composer and musician interested in exploring the points where different traditions and sound-worlds meet. 

Jack directs the ensemble Propellor, developed on Open Space at Snape Maltings and currently on tour with Loom, combining recordings across waves, wetlands and water channels with virtuosic instrumental writing, live electronics and video projection to produce an immersive live experience, challenging perceptions of genre and performance space.

As a soloist and chamber musician, Jack has premiered works by Richard Ayers, Karin Rehnqvist, Michael Finnissy, Liz Johnson, Ryan Latimer, Kirsty Devaney, Michael Zev Gordan, Michael Wolters, Joe Cutler, Ed Bennett, Fumiko Miyachi and Howard Skempton. He performs regularly with the Gildas Quartet, members of Le Page Ensemble and CHROMA.

His work as a freelance musician involves diverse musical collaborations ranging from the London Symphony Orchestra with Steve Reich, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Ensemble 360, Britten Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers, the Hilliard Ensemble and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, to Trish Clowes’s Emulsion Sinfonietta, Drawlight Quartet, Royal Shakespeare Company, Gecko Theatre, Joe Acheson’s Hidden Orchestra, Decibel and as an on-stage musician/actor with Sebastian Mathias's Danserye and Thom Luz's When I Die.

Improviser and passionate contemporary musician, Jack has given complete performances of Henze's Le Miracle de la Rose and Stockhausen’s Harlekin; a substantial work performed from memory where the clarinettist is required to dance and mime while playing! Bass clarinet soloist for a BBC broadcast of David Lang’s The Passing Measures, he also performed Der Kleine Harlekin and In Freundschaft in the opening concert of the Stockhausen Festival of Light which culminated in the world premiere of Mittwoch.

A Britten-Pears Young Artist, he completed the flagship AdvPgDip course at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire gaining a distinction and being awarded the Conservatoire Principal’s Prize. Jack has been supported by Countess of Munster Musical Trust, Musician's Benevolent Fund and PRS Foundation as a composer. Winner of the Ludlow Concerto and Leamington Music prizes, Jack has also been awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians' Silver Medal.

A passionate educator, Jack teaches at University of Birmingham, Nottingham University and for BCMG's NEXT course in partnership with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He mentors on leading education projects with Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Britten Sinfonia Academy and the Young Composers Project. Jack is director of the chamber music strand of Aldeburgh Young Musicians seasons 2017-19.

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