CELLIST CURATOR COLLABORATOR
Photo by Suresh Singh
Performer, arranger and curator, cellist Clare O'Connell plays as a soloist and chamber musician.
She is a member of visionary ensemble Lontano, the 12-piece cross genre ensemble of multi instrumentalists Propellor and the Storytellers Ensemble; she has a duo partnership with internationally acclaimed harpist Eleanor Turner; and is a regular collaborator with many other chamber music & chamber opera projects.
She founded and curates Behind The Mirror: her own series of intimate chamber music concerts in Berkhamsted, for which she has commissioned many new works from composers such as Alex Mills, Leonardo Margutti, Luke Bedford, David Bruce, Freya Waley Cohen and Rubens Askenar, experimenting with varying instrumental line-ups, making her own arrangements of a vast array of music for unusual groups of instruments, and interweaving music poetry and storytelling to add another dimension to the concert experience.
Her arrangements explore the parallels between composers both ancient and modern, allowing the music to speak on its own terms unfettered by historical context. The often seemingly disparate groups of instruments used always afford a uniquely rich sonic experience. They have been performed in Westminster Abbey, the Wigmore Hall and on BBC radio 3.
During the past year she wrote, arranged, recorded and produced her debut solo album The Isolated Cellist released by Stone Records in April 2021, a deeply personal collection of ancient & modern music for solo and layered cello gathered to perform to her local community during the summer 2000 lockdown.
She is looking forward to collaborating with Nicki Wells, Kaviraj Singh and Ilona Suomalainen at the Howard Assembly Room's Light Night Installation in October 2021, performing the solo cello part in Cheryl Frances Hoad's work Katharsis with the new music ensemble at Oxford University in February 2022, and in spring 2022 giving the world premiere of Figures of Eight, Ed Finnis' duo for cello and double bass which she
co-commissioned with double bassist Elena Hull.
She is a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford where she studied Ancient & Modern History followed by postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music & the Hochshule für Künste in Bremen, Germany with internationally acclaimed cellist and teacher Alexander Baillie. She plays on a cello by Stefan Krattenmacher.
“beautiful playing” - Alessia Naccarato - Schmopera
“unruly talent” - George Collins - A Younger Theatre
“Especially moving” - Jon Jacob - Thoroughly Good