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Claire Holden


Claire Holden Position: AHRC Creative Research Fellow Email:
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74816
Fax: +44(0)29 208 74379
Extension: n/a
Location: 33 Corbett Road (Annexe), Room 1.02

Claire Holden was awarded an AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts and joined the School of Music in 2010 to spend five years researching early nineteenth century violin playing. After studies on modern and baroque violin at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music, Claire spent a year touring with the European Union Baroque Orchestra before joining the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE).

OAE logo

With OAE, Claire has performed and recorded a vast range of Baroque, Classical and Romantic repertoire, varying from self directed chamber programmes to symphonic works under the direction of conductors of the calibre of Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Mark Elder, and Vladimir Jurowski. In addition Claire regularly plays with other period instrument ensembles including The Sixteen, Florilegium, Steinitz Bach Players and Collegium Musicum 90.

Claire has always been interested in research related to Historically Informed Performance and concert programming (most recently OAE’s BBC Bristol Lunchtime Concert Series, 2011). She has also researched and written programme notes, produced performing editions of un-published music and presented a pre-concert talk at the Royal Festival Hall.

Claire has been involved in the OAE’s education programme since 2002, leading projects to conservatoire standard including leading a Handel Concerto Grosso project with students from the Royal Academy and Royal College, a workshop day coaching the RCM Symphony Orchestra on self-directing Haydn Symphonies and a weekend of workshops and masterclasses with talented young musicians from the South West. Claire has held several teaching positions including JFS in London and Bodiam Manor School in Sussex.




Current Research

The AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts will enable Claire to devote five years to practice-led research into early nineteenth century violin playing. The main aims of the project are:

  1. To re-align period string performance in Beethoven's nine symphonies and other orchestral works with the corroborated practices of his time, by influencing the ways in which players in modern period-orchestras perform the music of Beethoven and his immediate successors so that they reflect scholarly research with greater accuracy, sensitivity, propriety and stylistic understanding.
  2. To contribute to knowledge about contemporary violin performing practices of the nineteenth century 'Classical' German tradition and thereby to the changing artistic reproduction of modern performances of this repertoire. This will involve a detailed practical study of the techniques and style of relevant celebrated violinists of Beethoven's period and circle and produce a practice-led resource which will enable modern day performers to develop the skills required to reproduce early nineteenth century string style.
  3. To examine the role which early editions should play in historically-informed performances of Beethoven by consulting available early nineteenth century Beethoven sources and later editions by relevant editors, such as Ferdinand David, who preserve a direct and demonstrable lineage with performance style in Beethoven's time.