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Claire Parfitt, First Violin

Claire Parfitt

First Violin

Member since 1988

At home we always joked when the phone rang, ‘it’s the LSO’. One day it was! My first and last job – each day is so different.

Claire Parfitt was born in South Wales into a family of professional musicians. Her father taught her the violin. In 1978 Claire was a String Finalist at the inaugural Young Musician of the Year competition. She went to the Royal Academy of Music at age 16 to study with Sidney Griller. This was followed by a three-year Belgian Government Scholarship to the Royal Conservatoire de Bruxelles, with Lola Bobesco. There Claire achieved two Premier Prix in both violin and chamber music, and a Diplôme Superieur.

Back in the UK, Claire freelanced with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC, Academy of St Martin, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and more, before being appointed a First Violin of the LSO. She has played under conductors included Leonard Bernstein, André Previn, Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davis, Georg Solti and more. She has been involved in much LSO film and session work including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Notting Hill, Braveheart and many more. Claire was awarded an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for her contribution to the music industry.

What piece would you recommend to a first-time listener?

Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. It encompasses all the instruments (especially the percussion), has a huge range of sound and emotions, and is visually very exciting too. Plus it was used in Disney’s Fantasia, so already you might be subconsciously aware of this music!