A! Magazine for the Arts

Sean K. Claire from Knoxville, Tenn., is the new concertmaster for Symphony of the Mountains.

Sean K. Claire from Knoxville, Tenn., is the new concertmaster for Symphony of the Mountains.

Symphony of the Mountains Selects New Concertmaster

February 9, 2010

KINGSPORT, TN -- Symphony of the Mountains (SOTM) has selected Sean K. Claire as Concertmaster. The orchestra held auditions in August 2009 from which Claire was selected as winner. Claire served as Concertmaster for the SOTM season opening concert October 3, 2009.

Since 1990 Claire has been a core member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Knoxville Chamber Orchestra. During his tenure he has served as Acting Associate Concertmaster, which included an extended period as Concertmaster, and has twice held the position of Acting Principal Second Violin and member of the KSO Principal Quartet. He also holds the distinction of being the only solo performer in the KSO's Music and Wellness program, a groundbreaking initiative that brings music into health care facilities in highly personal settings. His other orchestral credits include the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (TN), the Bryan Symphony Orchestra in Cookeville (TN), the Syracuse Symphony (NY), and the Asheville Symphony (NC), among others.

Claire has performed in numerous solo and chamber music recitals in the East-Tennessee area, including solo appearances with the Knoxville Chamber Orchestra and Town Concerts Chamber Orchestra in Bristol and Kingsport. For several years Claire performed with the Bear Valley Music Festival as Associate Concertmaster and chamber musician.

For the last eight years Claire has performed with the Crested Butte Music Festival, and is one of the founding members of the Sally Minor String Quartet, which formed as a result of collaborations at the Festival.

Born in California, Claire began his training at age 11 with Barbara Horning and Margarito Ramirez. He made his first solo appearance with the North Coast Symphony at age 15 and at age 16 was admitted to San Diego State University with a full scholarship to study with Prof. Michael Tseitlin. During the next three years he placed highly in several competitions including the La Jolla Young Artists Competition, which included a solo appearance with the La Jolla Civic Orchestra, and the Musical Merit Competition of Greater San Diego, which included a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. He then continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA with renowned Professor Zvi Zeitlin.

Claire lives in Knoxville with his wife Stacy and their four cats. He takes advantage of the close proximity to the Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River for such activities as hiking and water skiing. Claire is also an avid downhill skier, mountain biker and competitive fencer.