Internationally acclaimed percussion soloist, chamber musician and artistic director of Ensemble Offspring, Claire Edwardes has been described by the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion’. She was recently granted a prestigious Australia Council Music Fellowship, is a three-time recipient of the APRA Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual (2016, 2012, 2007) and winner of 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 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) and 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 about to be 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.
In 2016 alone she has appeared hosting Play School with Eddie Perfect (ABC TV), performing music at the nexus of art and science with Guy Ben-Ary’s ‘cellF', presented solo percussion works by Xenakis at MONA FOMA (Hobart) to a rapt audience, and improvised with Tony Buck from The Necks at the same festival. She has also toured Australia as soloist with the Australian String Quartet, bringing new ideas about what percussion can be to classical audiences with her own arrangements of John Adams and a world premiere by Matthew Hindson.