Forces in Music // Masterclass with Claire Edwardes

Percussionist & Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring

‘To say she is virtuosic is redundant; she's more, transforming what must clearly look promising on manuscript paper into sonorous, shimmering aural opulence.’

Registrations coming soon. 

Internationally acclaimed Australian percussion soloist, chamber musician and artistic director of Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes has been described by the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion’. In 2013 she was granted a prestigious Australia Council Music Fellowship, she is the first person to take home the APRA AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual (2016, 2012, 2007) three times and is the most recent percussionist to win the Symphony Australia Young Performers Award (1999). From 1999-2006 Claire was resident in the Netherlands where she developed a successful international career as a percussion soloist and revered chamber musician. Since returning to Australia 10 years ago she has been instrumental in leading, developing, and stimulating the art music scene back at home.

Under her leadership (along with that of recently retired co-Artistic Director Damien Ricketson), Ensemble Offspring has become one of Australia’s most significant commissioners and exponents of new music. Recently winning the APRA AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence by an Organisation (2016), Claire and the group have been featured in significant international festivals including Shanghai New Music Week, Kings Place (London), Warsaw Autumn and numerous times in the Sydney Festival. Claire’s curatorial nous and commitment to composer and cross art-form collaborations has been as important to the group’s success as her virtuosic gifts as a performer.

Claire has also developed a stellar career as an independent percussionist, and has generated a new musical canon for percussion with three solo discs on the Tall Poppies label and a fourth just released on ABC Classics. In addition she has forged a path as Australia’s leading percussion concerto soloist with regular engagements with all of the Australian orchestra’s since 2000.

She has appeared hosting Play School (ABC TV), presented solo percussion works by Xenakis at MONA FOMA accompanied by the lasers of Robin Fox to a rapt audience, and She has also toured Australia as soloist with the Australian String Quartet, and in 2018 performed the Australian premiere of James MacMillan’s Second Percussion Concerto, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.

This masterclass will take the form of a presentation (lecture and/or performance) by our invited guest followed by related performances among the UNSW student cohort.  At the end of the presentation there will be time for questions, feedback and discussion. The Forces in Music Masterclasses supports students specialisations, but everyone is welcome from the wider UNSW community and beyond!

Forces in Music convenor, Alister Spence
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