Clarinettist, Shelley Levy, was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She began her studies at the University of Cape Town graduating with a performer’s diploma in 1992. She was then awarded a prestigious Swiss government scholarship to study at the Geneva Conservatoire where she graduated with a Prix de Virtuosite (Premiere Prix) in 1996. Shelley continued her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where she received a post graduate diploma in Orchestral training in 1997. Her teachers have included Oliver de Groote, Walter Boeykens, Thomas Friedli, Joan Enric Lluna, Thea King and Michael Whight. She has also participated in clarinet masterclasses with soloists Antony Pay and Michael Collins as well as chamber music masterclasses with Maurice Borgue, Lamar Crowson and the Floristan Trio. During her student years Shelley was principal clarinet of the South African National Youth Orchestra, the Rotterdam Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, the Geneva Conservatoire Orchestra and the Young Musician Symphony Orchestra, UK.
In 1991 Shelley won the Oudemeester competition for wind instruments, the Natal 75th Anniversary Prize for Orchestral Instruments and the wind category of the ATKV Forte Competition in South Africa. In 1994 she was a finalist in the South African Broadcasting Corporation Of Music Competition, and in 1997 a woodwind finalist in the Royal Overseas League Competition, London.
Shelley has performed both as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician in the UK and abroad. Her solo appearances include the Mozart and Weber concerto’s no’s 1 and 2, as well as the Krommer double concerto with all the major Symphony orchestras in South Africa. She has also performed as soloist with the Geneva Conservatoire Orchestra, in Switzerland. She has performed as an orchestral freelancer in the Cape Town Symphony orchestra, the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Brunel Ensemble, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra amongst others. Shelley has given numerous solo and chamber music concerts in South Africa, France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Canada, including all the major duo clarinet sonatas as well as chamber ensemble works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Bartok, Brahms, Bruch, Poulenc, and Stravinsky. In 2010 she commissioned and gave a World Premier of Yoko Kubo's piece 'Reflections' for flute and clarinet at the Sani International Festival in Greece while more recent commissions include a trio for alto flute, clarinet and piano by British composer Ian Stuart. In the UK shelley has appeared at various important venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican and has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 with Leto Ensemble. Other venues have included performances in the Baxter Concert Hall and Linder Auditorium in South Africa, The Gothenburg Opera Foyer chamber music series in Sweden and Demetria Festival in Greece. Shelley is a founding member of ‘Ensemble Hans Gal’, ‘Leto Ensemble' and 'Ensemble Burletta'. She is currently working on recording a cd of all Hans Gal's music for clarinet and strings with Ensemble Burletta , which will be released under the Toccata Classics record label.
Shelley is an experienced clarinet teacher and chamber music coach. She has also given masterclasses at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. She works in various schools in London and currently teaches at the Camden Music Centre and at Camden School for Girls.