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Claire Durr-Sorensen

Originally from Backwell, near Bristol, Claire began her musical studies as a flautist before moving her focus to the bassoon. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama completing both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies. 

Claire has gone on to forge an exciting and varied freelance career. She spent 15 years working as a London-based freelance bassoonist and contrabassoonist, playing with most of the major London orchestras, several European orchestras and in the West End. She combines her orchestral work with chamber and solo recitals both in the UK and abroad, has played on numerous recordings and toured worldwide. Her orchestral work includes the Philharmonia Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, English National Opera, Britten Sinfonia, Glyndebourne Touring Opera and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.  Much of Claire’s working life has been happily spent under a stage and she has worked extensively with many of the main Opera and Ballet companies.  

Passionate about music education, she has participated in outreach programmes across the country for Live Music Now, as well as the education departments of various orchestras. She currently teaches the bassoon at Redmaids’ High School and Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools. She was the Professor of Bassoon at Kneller Hall Royal Military School – a post she held for 22 years until its closure in 2021 – meaning she has taught most of the bassoonists in the Army!

She is happy to have moved back to the West Country, and has been a member of the Bristol Ensemble since 2016. She always enjoys working with friends, and a recent highlight was their exciting and rapturously received performance of Beethoven 5 at St George’s!

Claire feels fortunate to have played on numerous recordings with some highlights being Aardman Animation’s Star Wars Visions (I am Your Mother) with the Bristol Ensemble, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Matthew Bourne’s production of Prokofiev’s Cinderella with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Much to the delight of her children she can even be seen in Disney’s Nutcracker and The Four Realms!

Claire is a keen skier and loves sewing, camping and being by the sea.