Claire Edwardes

Q. When did you join SYO? R. Around 1995Q. What instruments did you play in SYO?R. Percussion

Q. What is your favourite memory of  SYO?R. The many long coffee breaks of a Saturday for the percussion section – sticking my rotten orange smelling bass drum mallet in Luke McAvenna’s face all the time – Henrik Pisarek!!!Q. What role does music play in your life?R. I am totally committed to the championing of living new music through my work as a soloist and as AD of Ensemble Offspring.Q. What is your favourite musical repertoire from the SYO performances? R. Sculthorpe’s Sun MusicQ. What advice would you give young musicians  today?  R. Practise hard while you have the time!

From the set of Play School to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Claire Edwardes OAM is Australia’s “sorceress of percussion” (City News, Canberra). The only Australian to win the ‘APRA Art Music Luminary Award’ four times, Claire leaps between her role as Ensemble Offspring Artistic Director (2019 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award winners) and concerto performances with all of the Australian and New Zealand orchestras plus several European orchestras. She recently gave the world premieres of new percussion concerto’s written for her by Australian composers Anne Cawrse, Natalie Williams and Iain Grandage.

She is recognised for her genre-spanning solo concerts, a broad spectrum of cross art form collaborations, commissioning and premiering hundreds of new works by Australian and international composers including Harrison Birtwistle and Elena Kats-Chernin, teaching at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and passionately advocating for gender equity and diversity in classical music. In 2023 the industry acknowledged her support of the female voice with an Australian Women in Music Creative Leadership Award.

As a true trailblazer, perhaps her most significant contribution, beyond her endless quest for excellence in performance, is in breaking down the barriers between art music and audiences. With an on stage and behind the scenes infectious enthusiasm for bringing new music to unexpected places, she wows audiences with her one of a kind performances on marimba, vibraphone, drums, percussion and more unusual instruments such as the waterphone and cajon. On stage Claire “dazzles with energy and authority” (In Review) and was recently described by The Age, as a “prodigiously talented Australian…an invigorating musical life force.”

Prev project Next project
Scroll up Drag View