Australian Hometown: Brisbane
Education: University of Queensland, Herbert-von-Karajan Akademie, Berlin
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Sally Clarke began her musical career with violin at the age of 11; one year later she took up the viola as well, in order to play chamber music. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Music, Honours, degree (and various prizes and distinctions), performing with diverse chamber ensembles and as soloist with the Queensland Youth Orchestra, on its 1986 New Zealand Tour, and with the Camerata of St John’s, of which she was a founding member. A German Government Scholarship (DAAD) enabled her to further her studies with Professor Rainer Moog in Cologne; thereafter she attended the Herbert-von-Karajan Akademie in Berlin, performing regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1988 she was Principal Viola with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra, under the baton of Sergiu Celibidache, from whose mentoring she benefitted greatly.
Chamber music and solo performances have taken Sally to many places in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Russia. She has participated in various festivals, including those of Townsville and Bangalow, Australia; and in September 2009, the biennial “German Festival” of Krasnodar. In 2014 she made a guest appearance at the World Harp Festival in Sydney and participated in the AWO Chamber Festival in the NSW Southern Highlands in November 2017. Sally teaches and performs at “Das SommerMusikFest” each year.
Sally Clarke’s recordings for CD and radio include the rarely performed Sonatas for Viola and Piano by Luigi von Kunits and Wilhelm Killmayer. Sally’s CD “another sort of fire” featuring works by contemporary women composers, is available through Bayer Records. Her great interest is in expanding traditional “classical” approaches, through “cross-over” projects involving oriental music, live dance-theatre or improvisation to silent movies. In 2009 she founded the trio “Blue Ayre”, together with Cynthia Oppermann, harp, and Veronika Fuchs, flute. The trio has performed in Germany, France and Australia; their CD “Blue Ayre” was released in 2013, and features works by Debussy, Bax, Bartok and a specially commissioned work by Rüdiger Oppermann (Celtic and experimental harp), with whose ensemble “KlangWelten” she has toured on numerous occasions. “Blue Ayre” is available on iTunes.
Sally has taught and coached at various workshops, masterclasses and youth orchestras, including the renowned Interregional Youth Orchestra (IRO), which takes place annually in Ochsenhausen, and at the Sydney Conservatorium High School, or anywhere in the world, online, via www.playwithapro.com. Her teaching style has been described as particularly empowering; she has worked extensively with orchestral musicians, violists and violinists alike, seeking support for audition preparations or just to reboot their technique.
A full-time member of the SWR Symphony Orchestra (formally known as Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart) since 1992. She has appeared with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and also with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt.
Last updated 2023