Harpist and Trinity Laban alumnus Claire Iselin has won second prize in the Ibla Grand Prize International Music Competition 2013, beating off thousands of applicants in the Sicily competition. The Ibla Prize gives her a three week USA tour of 20 recitals, and she will then launch her solo career, including her debut at Carnegie Hall.
Claire was also recently awarded a City Music Foundation Grant and a place in the Foundation's Showcase Concert at the Milton Court concert in October. The concert will be hosted by the Lord Mayor with Sir Richard Stilgoe as Master of Ceremonies.
And in yet further triumphs, Claire also won first place in the World Orchestra and is about to complete a successful tour with them in August.
In the last 12 months, Claire has won Trinity Laban's prestigious Isabelle Bond Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Performance and the Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. She was also the very first recipient of the John Marson Prize.
Claire began learning the harp in her native Alsace when she was six years old. At age 15 she contracted health problems and was advised by the doctors to stop playing. But three years later at the age of 18 she met her "maestro", Gabriella Dall'Olio, and decided that playing harp was what she wanted to do in life: "The stage is my home," she said. "When I'm up there playing, everything else disappears."
Claire stressed the importance of competitions for a young performer: "Competitions offer great experience of performing in front of demanding audiences; but they are also great exposure for young artists and help to raise your profile as a musician and with agents."
Claire graduated from Trinity Laban in 2010 with a BMus (Hons), and has just completed her MMus, graduating in December 2012 with first class honours. Later this year she will be performing in international competitions in Slovenia and Sicily.
Photo credit - jk_photography