Tuesday 21 October 2014

Meet Clare Finnimore - viola

Clare Finnimore studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where she co-founded the prize-winning Guildhall String Ensemble. Her musical career has included multifarious appearances as a soloist in a variety of festivals, venues and continents. She has been Principal Viola of Britten Sinfonia for the past 12 years, plays regularly with her chamber group, Britten Oboe Quartet, and can be heard on many a cinema soundtrack including Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, and The Hobbit. She has also performed live with such artists as Kylie Minogue, Sting, Bjork and Florence and the Machine.

In this blog post Clare discusses various highlights of her musical career so far (as well as the odd embarrassing moment), her favourite pastimes and super-power of choice.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
When you play music you love with people you love playing with it's always a high!

When are you happiest?

What is your greatest fear?
A world controlled by multi- nationals and the diminishing of the dawn chorus.

What is your earliest musical memory?
Trad Jazz at home and my parents jiving...The Beatles: Rubber Soul....Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice....Holst: The Planets.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Camilla Batmanghelidjh- her big heart, determination and tireless work for vulnerable children...and of course her style!

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Asking a very famous singer/songwriter: 'Is this your son?' His reply: 'No, she's my wife.'

What is your most treasured possession?
A goodbye letter from my sister Jan.

What would your super power be?
I would like to be multi-lingual.

If you were an animal what would you be?
A cat in a loving home- what a life of luxury they have! But I would NOT kill birds.

What is your most unappealing habit?
At home, being unnecessarily fussy about recycling. But if everyone did it......

What is your favourite book?
Middlemarch, Pride and Prejudice, Lost London 1870-1945.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Freshly baked almond croissants.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
My husband, 2 sons and 2 nephews and my best female friends.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
To the 60's - I would inject all the giant Elm trees so that they would still be here now.

How do you relax away from the concert platform?
Wine, tapas and friends.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Stepping up as soloist at a few hours notice for a live broadcast.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To make every day the best you can.

In a nutshell, what is your philosophy?
I saw this recently on a park bench: "Love, be loved and never stop learning."

John Woolrich's piece for viola and orchestra, Ulysses Awakes, was written for Clare, and she will be performing this work with the orchestra on 20 & 21 November in London and Cambridge as part of the musical celebrations of Woolrich's 60th birthday this year. 

She will also be performing as part of our At Lunch 3 concert in February 2015, which will feature a new composition by Ben Comeau and string chamber pieces by Vaughan Williams and Beethoven.

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