The Famous Violinist Courtenay Cleary on Funmansite
Hey guys, how are you doing? This is Vaibhav and for this article I interviewed none other than Courtenay Cleary, the classical violinist who showed the world her great skill and talent when she performed as a soloist for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other distinguished guests at Westminster Abbey in London.
I asked her about her achievements, hobbies, musical endeavours and more.
1. Please introduce yourself.
I’m Courtenay, Classical violinist currently completing my Masters degree at The Juilliard School in New York. I previously studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.
2. In which musical styles do you play?
I play both classical and contemporary repertoire and like to programme both these genres in concerts for variety.
3. What does being a violinist mean to you?
I often feel like music is such a self-indulgent activity because I love the way it makes me feel when I play. But after a performance I realise it can also be something very selfless. Even if just one person approaches me and says the really enjoyed listening to my performance I get such a buzz that I brightened their day. I like that what I do can have such an effect on people, even if they hated it at least I gave them something to think about!
Something that is important to me as a musician is having artistic integrity – trusting your instincts and playing with conviction on stage. Believe that your interpretation is valid and be true to yourself as an artist.
4. What are your Hobbies?
When I’m not playing the violin I’m usually doing something else creative. I love photography and also cooking, fashion and singing in the shower. I also consider myself a bit of a doughnut connoisseur!
I also love looking at other artists’ creative output. Whether they’re dancers, visual or electronic artists, I’m always looking for something to inspire my own creative mind and also opportunities for future collaborative projects.
Here are some of Courtenay’s recent and most notable achievements.
Courtenay is currently in her first year of the Master of Music programme at The Juilliard School in New York where she studies with violin professor Naoko Tanaka. She recently received her Bachelor of Music degree with first-class honours from the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with professor Maureen Smith. In 2017 Courtenay performed as a soloist for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other distinguished guests at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Commonwealth Service. This was broadcast live on BBC television.
In 2018 Courtenay again performed for the HM the Queen at Buckingham Palace for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. During her time in London, she has performed as a soloist at prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, St James’ Piccadilly, the Regent Hall and Colston Hall. She recently performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra in Sydney and will be returning to Australia in 2019 to give the Australian premiere of David Lang’s Mystery Sonatas.
She is a Tait Memorial Trust and ABRSM scholar, and was recently awarded second prize at the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition as well as the the Dame Joan Sutherland Award from the American Australian Association and the Guy Parsons Award from the Portland House and Australian Music Foundations. She is a member of the Patronus Quartet who in 2015 progressed to the semi-final of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.
She has performed at many international festivals including Tallinn Music Week and the Melbourne Festival and has recently recorded a solo contemporary album in collaboration with Australian Composer, Benjamin Heim.
Visit Courtenay’s website to read more about her career as well as view her gallery, recordings and live performances! Thank you so much Courtenay for sharing with us a little about your life. The links to her website and social media are below.