Enthusiastic, generous, and communicative are all words that have been used to describe Claire Iselin’s performance on harp.
With continued innovation in harp pieces over the last two centuries, the harp has become an instrument that deserves to be featured and not just at the back of an orchestra. Her harp is an extension of the body that allows Claire to share excitement with the audience and invites them to see and feel her music simultaneously. Not only do they get to experience the aesthetic beauty of the instrument, but they are able to experience the new innovative approach that Claire brings to her music.
Her hopes are to release the stereotypical images associated with the harp and replace them with a new age angle. While Claire excels in presenting music of the classical, romantic and impressionistic forms, she has also begun collaborating with other art forms to show the public that the harp is no longer just a classical instrument meant for concert halls. She hopes to reach the young audiences of today by introducing new technologies into her music. Claire is working on a new project where she will project both the movements of her hands and feet in liveHD. In this capacity she will be inviting the audience to feel even closer to the artist and have a full in-depth experience with the music.
Claire has been a performing soloist in the UK, France, Switzerland, China, and the United States among other countries. In the UK she performed with the Kantanti Chamber Orchestra, Sidcup Symphony Orchestra, and the Billroth Ensemble. Claire was the guest principal harpist with European Union Youth Orchestra in Stuttgart, Germany under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy in 2012. During the 11th World Harp Congress in July of 2011 she was invited to perform The Crown of Ariadne by R. Murray Schafer in Vancouver, Canada.
Achievements range far and wide, as her talents have taken her around the world. Her most recent achievements include her debut at Carnegie Hall (2014) during a tour throughout the United States and her participation in the 2013 IBLA Grand Prize International Music Competition where she won Outstanding Musician. Distinct honors include the Isabel Bond Gold Medal for Excellence in Performing (2013), Director’s Prize for Achievements (2013), 1st Prize in the Repertoire Orchestra Concerto Soloist Competition (2012), Principal harpist of the World Orchestra (2013), and 1st attribution for the John Marson Prize for an Outstanding and Creative Musician (2008).
Among Claire’s expansive repertoire, some of the most noted for chamber/orchestra are Ginastera Harp Concerto, Debussy Danses, Introduction and Allegro by Ravel. Amidst the solo realm are Moldau by Smetana, Spanish Dance by De Falla, Theme and Variations by Sancan.
Claire holds a deep passion for both classical and contemporary music and continues to instill that passion in younger generations through her private studio. She has also been a deputy teacher at Trinity Junior department since 2007 and gave Master Classes in Illzach, France in 2010. In addition to teaching, Claire has shared her talents with multiple chamber groups including: A Piacere (2 harps), Marson Harp Trio, Fiona Kelly (Flute) and Claire Iselin (Harp), and Sardane (combinations of flute, violin, cello, viola, double bass, string quartet, and harp). On the side she works as a freelance orchestral harpist with BBCCO, Manning Camerata, and Southbank Symfonia among other groups. Claire hopes to continue spreading her passion of music around the world through both her teaching and performing in the years to come.