Claire Edwardes is an internationally renowned award-winning percussionist. As a soloist and the co-artistic director of Sydney based Ensemble Offspring Claire programs and performs to the highest level, some of the most innovative and cutting-edge music being presented in the world today.
Graduating as Student of the Year in 1997 from the Sydney Conservatorium (where she now teaches), she went on to win the coveted ABC Young Performers Award in 1999. She subsequently relocated to the Netherlands to undertake a Masters Degree at the Rotterdam and Amsterdam Conservatories. Resident there for seven years, she was the recipient of many international awards and prizes including first place at the Tromp Percussion Competition (2000) and Llangollen International Instrumentalist (2001). In 2005 she was named the MCA/Freedman Fellow and in 2012 and 2007 was awarded the AMC/APRA Art Music Award for ‘Outstanding contribution to Australian Music’.
Specialising in the marimba, she regularly performs concerto’s, chamber and solo recitals on the full gamut of percussion instruments, and works with experienced as well as younger composers in developing the percussion repertory. Claire’s CD catalogue includes 3 recent solo albums with Tall Poppies (ONE, Flash & Coil), The Axe Manual on the Metronome Label, ABC Young Performers disc and numerous composer based albums on Move Records, ABC Classics and Curious Noise. Claire teaches Percussion at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and currently balances her life as a mother of two young girls with a busy concert schedule in Australia and abroad.
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Blog posts and interviews with Claire
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Listen & buy Claire’s recordings on iTunes
Listen & buy Claire’s recordings on Amazon
We asked Claire a few questions
- How old were you when you decided to be a musician and what led you the instrument(s) you now play? I started piano when I was 5 because the 10 year old girl living across from us in our country farm (Stradbroke, Victoria) played it and I wanted to be like her. I fell into percussion because I wanted to play music with other people and thought a wind band would be a good way to do that. In Year 6 I auditioned on piano for SSSWE 1 (run by the Performing Arts Unit in NSW) and then they dumped me on Xylophone – which actually turned out to be quite fun 🙂
- When you’re not rehearsing/performing/teaching, where are you most likely to be? Umm at my desk behind my computer doing admin…but when I’n not doing that I’m with my daughters Violet (5) and Poppy (3) hanging out (as Poppy likes to call it) – at the beach if possible but more likely at the local park or cafe.
- After you finish a concert, what is the first drink you want to have in your hand? a Beer if it is really hot or a white wine if it is just average Sydney weather – please/thankyou
- If there weren’t external factors involved, how long do you think a concert should go for? 60-70 minutes without interval – for my feeling this is the perfect length for a concert because it means I can socialise and dissect the concert properly afterwards (if I so desire) or I can get home to bed if I have been up since 5:30am (likely) and through this compact length I find my focus remains solid for the duration of the concert.
- When should we clap? Well the tradition is, not between movements and only after the entire work has ended – and I would like to say I am not a traditionalist so it doesn’t really matter – but as I performer I do find it quite disruptive to the flow as well as the expectations of other audience members who know not to clap, when people do clap between movements so yes, I do believe this is the one small piece of classically derived information one should arm themselves with before attending a concert.