2017, 2011
“Having lived and worked in the Netherlands for seven years, I recently returned to Sydney to soak up some sun. It is amazing how many of my colleagues from my student days are resident throughout the world making music. I can’t wait to see them all again. Playing together will be very special.”

Claire Edwardes


Artistic Director and Percussionist – Ensemble Offspring, Australia; Guest Percussion – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; The Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Rotterdam Conservatorium

Claire’s musical studies began initially with piano and then percussion in her high school concert band. However she did not move into orchestral percussion until joining the Sydney Youth Orchestra in her first year as a tertiary music student.

Claire graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (BMUS Hon1) as Student of the Year in 1997 under the teaching guidance of Daryl Pratt and Richard Miller. She was the recipient of the NUFFIC Huygens Dutch Government Scholarship and later the Queen Elizabeth Trust Award which funded her studies abroad. During a successful period based in Europe (1999-2006), Claire undertook a Masters of Music with Richard Jansen at the Rotterdam Conservatory and then with Peter Prommel and Jan Pustjens at the Amsterdam Conservatory. She participated in numerous summer schools including Acanthe Academy (France) with Steven Schick and the Darmstadt International Summer Courses (Germany).

Claire was the winner of the 1999 Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year award, first prize in the 2000 Tromp International Percussion Competition (The Netherlands), the 2001 Vriendenkrans Instrumental Competition (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam) and the 2001 Llangollen International Instrumentalist (Wales) and in 2005 the Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition. Additionally in 2005, Claire was awarded the prestigious MCA/Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music.

Claire returned to Sydney in 2006 and became the co-artistic director of the successful and innovative new music group she was a founding member of in 1996: Ensemble Offspring. She is also a member of Overlander – a group specialising in music reflecting the Australian landscape compromising William Barton (didgeridoo), Iain Grandage (cello) and Melanie Robinson (voice/cello). In 2007 Claire won the AMC/APRA Classical Music Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian music, by an Individual.

Claire was an alumnus of SYO between 1995 and 1997 and SYO paid tribute to her outstanding musicianship by commissioning Elena Kats-Chernin’s first percussion concerto which was premiered by Claire and the Sydney Youth Orchestra in July 2009.

Last updated 2020