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This talented young duo was formed in September 200 when Clare and Eilidh were on the Postgraduate Performance course at the Royal Academy of Music, London. They regularly give concerts for the Live Music Now Scheme, which gives them the opportunity to take music to members of the community who would not easily have access to concerts. Recently they have toured from the North of Scotland to the Isle of Arran and throughout England working with a diverse range of audiences. Since performing together they have appeared at the English Music Festival and the Leamington and Warwickshire Music Festival. They are the resident duo at a hotel in Bray on Thames and also play at functions throughout London for the Duke of York and Cherie Blair. Eilidh and Clare also enjoy working for Fred Olsen Cruises and are soon to explore the regions of Southern France, Spain and Portugal. Their repertoire encompasses music from the 17th Century to the present day, including a wide range of styles – classical, contemporary, light and traditional.
In 1994 Clare began her musical studies when she was awarded a place on the Hampshire specialist music course to study Flute and Piano. On completing her A Levels she accepted a place at Birmingham Conservatoire to study for a Bachelor of Music where she completed the course with firs class honours. Specialising in Flute she studied with Kevin Gowland (CBSO). During her four years at Birmingham Conservatoire, Clare won all prizes for her instrument and also took first prize in the 1999 Albert Cooper International Flute competition.
Having been awarded the CBSO wind training scheme in 1998, Clare has since played with the city of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on a number of occasions, including tours to Vienna and cologne with Sir Simon Rattle and a performance of the Bach B Minor Suite with the CBSO Baroque players. Her busy freelance career includes work with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the English Symphony Orchestra and she has been on trial with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In June 2002 Clare won a place in the UBS Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra working with conductors such as James Levine, Furt Masur, Mitislav Rostropovich and Parvo Jarvi, touring Europe and the Far East.
Clare has recently been awarded a distinction from the Royal Academy of Music, where she has been studying on the Postgraduate course for the last two years with Sebastian Bell and Michael Cox. During this time she was a major beneficiary of the Young Cygnets Trust and received the Winifred Disney Award and the Chris Taylor Flute Prize from the Royal Academy of Music.
Eilidh Mcrae was born in Inverness in 1977 and began lessons on the Clarsach at the age of seven. Five years later she was awarded a Traditional Music Scolarship to Lomond School. At the same time she gained a place at the Royal Scottish of Academy and Drama where she studied with Sanchia Pielou and Eluned Pierce.
In June 1999, Eilidh graduated from Trinity College of Music where she studied with Sioned Williams, Principal Harpist, BBC Symphony Orchestra. Whilst there she performed Debussy’s Danses Sacree et Profane. In 2001 she completed a two year postgraduate course studying with Skaila Kanga at the Royal Academy of Music, supported by the Winfred Disney and Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation Awards. In July 2000, she achieved highly commended in the Julia Leney Prize for Harp.
From 1993-96 Eilidh was Principal Harpist with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and between 1997-99, with the National Musicians Symphony Orchestra. Her professional work includes performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Foundation Philharmonic Orchestra and she has also work with the Britten-Pears Orchestra and Britten-Pears Orchestra and British Youth Orchestra. She has recorded for the band Travis and has played with Sir Paul McCartney, Sir George Martin and Dire Straits. Recent performances include a tour to Italy with a jazz funk group called The Orchestra and a solo appearance at the European Harp Symposium held in Amsterdam in 2001. In June, Eilidh appeared as a soloist for “Live Music Now!” at the “Battle Festival”.
Eilidh is the resident harpist at the Langham Hilton and Park Lane Hilton Hotels and also enjoys working on cruise ships. She has recently returned from a cruise with her harp trio “Angelica”.
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