Trinity Laban Announces Dr Claire Mera-Nelson as Director of Music

After an international recruitment search, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance found its new Director of Music very close to home!  The Conservatoire is delighted to announce Dr Claire Mera-Nelson, who has worked for Trinity College of Music and Trinity Laban for the past ten years, as its new Director of Music.  Claire will take up the position in January 2011.

As Director of Music, Claire will be responsible for leading Trinity Laban's Music Faculty in teaching, research and performance activity.  This will include overseeing the planning and delivery of the Conservatoire's Music programmes and building on the Institution's current artistic and educational profile. Claire will take over from Jeremy Ward, who has been the Conservatoire's Interim Director of Music since July 2010.  She will work closely with Trinity Laban Principal Professor Anthony Bowne, Executive Director Professor Derek Aviss and Director of Dance Mirella Bartrip.

Claire joined Trinity College of Music in 1999 as a specialist in eighteenth and nineteenth century performing practices, and has since held a range of positions including Head of Research, Head of Postgraduate Programmes (Music), and Dean of Studies (Music).  She is currently Trinity Laban's Creative Futures Director & Dean of Quality Enhancement responsible for the research, enterprise and academic enhancement activity that lies at the heart of Trinity Laban's position as a leading national and international conservatoire.

Born and educated in Scotland, Claire studied violin and Baroque violin at the Royal College of Music and was until recently an active period instrument performer. She is a former member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and European Union Baroque Orchestra, and has performed extensively in Europe, Australia and Asia with ensembles including English Touring Opera, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Florilegium, the Gabrieli Consort, the London Handel Orchestra, and in particular the orchestra of The Sixteen with whom she performed regularly for more than 15 years.

Claire works closely with colleagues across the UK conservatoire sector and classical music industry on key issues affecting musicians in the 21st century.  A regular speaker at national conferences and events, Claire also undertakes a wide range of expert and advisory roles within the music sector. She is has advised the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), is a reviewer for the Higher Education Academy and is an External Examiner, and Advisor to several other conservatoires and universities within the UK.

She has received grants and awards from the British Academy, British Federation of Women Graduates, Learning Skills Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, and NESTA. Claire has also received research commissions from Arts Council England, the Creative Way Lifelong Learning Network, the Higher Education Academy, and PALATINE. She is a Governor of Ravensbourne, a university sector college innovating in digital media and design, and a Board member of the Creative Way Lifelong Learning Network.

Speaking of her new role, Claire says: "I am delighted to be leading this community of inspirational musicians at a moment of extraordinary transformation for both the UK arts and music education sectors. The achievements and innovations of Trinity's past provide an outstanding platform from which to build a Conservatoire for the 21st century. Drawing on the vision and energy of our students, staff and professional partners we have a vibrant and ambitious future."

Professor Anthony Bowne says: "We are extremely pleased to have Claire taking up this role at a pivotal time in Trinity Laban's history.  She brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge which will be vital as we enter a financially challenging era for higher education;  her vision, intellectual rigour and dedication having already brought so much to this institution.  With Claire and our new Executive Team in place and a bold new Strategic Plan we have the people and tools in place to develop our leadership position as a world class Conservatoire."

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