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Clare Thompson

Professorial Staff - Violin


Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Faculty of Music
King Charles Court
Old Royal Naval College
SE10 9JF

Tel: +44 (0)20 8305 4444


Area of Work

Strings Department
Clare Thompson


Since leaving the Philharmonia Orchestra, where she was Sub-Leader for over a decade, Clare Thompson is fast becoming one of London’s most sought after violin teachers. A longstanding professor at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, she has also recently been appointed to the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music. Passionate about training young people, she has been a regular tutor for the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain since 2004 and was recently made an Interim Trustee. She has given masterclasses in Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus under the auspices of the prestigious I, Culture Orchestra, the premier orchestra for eastern European young musicians, with whom she has been a tutor since 2012. In 2015 she was invited to Bayreuth to tutor the Bayreuth Young Artists Festival Orchestra.

Keen to pass on her wealth of knowledge and orchestral experience, Clare is regularly invited to tutor in all of the London music colleges and is generally sought after as teacher and audition mentor by many young musicians embarking on their careers. She also has a burgeoning private studio in North London, teaching across the syllabuses. Her students range from age 7-18 with notable examination and conservatoire entrance successes.

Clare was a prize-winning student at the Royal Academy of Music where she studied with Carmel Kaine. Scholarships then enabled her to complete her postgraduate studies in Germany with Wolfgang Marschner. On her return, she was soon appointed to the Principal 2nd chair of the English Chamber Orchestra, performing with such artists as Barenboim and Zukerman. She performed with the English Chamber Orchestra as a soloist both in the concert hall and recording studio. In that time, some ten years, she also appeared as guest leader with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Ulster Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Thames Chamber Orchestra and principal positions with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic and BBC Symphony Orchestra amongst others.

She has led the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall, performed with many of the world’s great conductors, Muti, Maazel, Salonen and Ashkenazy to name but a few, and is now regularly invited to lead and co-lead British orchestras including most recently, working extensively as Co-Leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Andris Nelsons.

Clare has also enjoyed an active chamber music career, performing, recording and broadcasting with such ensembles as Prometheus, Cirrus and Serenata. She has played chamber music with Rostropovich and is a featured soloist on a CD of Vivaldi violin concertos with Pinchas Zukerman. She also continues to work in the studio recording film scores, including The Hunger GamesHarry Potter and The Hobbit.

Clare was recently made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in recognition of her services to music.

She plays on a fine Joseph Gagliano violin, circa 1770.

Qualifications / Educational Background

Clare Thompson studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Carmel Kaine where she won numerous prizes for solo and string quartet playing. Various scholarships, including the Countess of Munster Trust enabled her to continue her studies with Wolfgang Marschner in Freiburg, Germany, where she graduated with the final diploma.

Teaching Experience

Clare has been teaching for some twenty years and is currently a professor of violin at Trinity Laban. She has given masterclasses worldwide in such far-flung destinations as Sri Lanka and the Caribbean.

Creative Outputs

Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ for Italian TV