Claire Overbury

claireAs a child, Claire was taken to concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and such is her musical talent that she finally performed there herself.

Her parents were already settled in Church Lane when Claire was born. Classical music was part of her home life even before she started playing piano and recorder at the age of five.

Although she originally wanted to be a vet, music won out in the end and, inspired by James Galway, she finally opted for performing the flute in order to achieve her degree from Christchurch College, Oxford. It is as a flautist that she has pursued her career although she still plays the piano and teaches flute, recorder and piano to all age groups at a girls’ school in Hampton.

After college, she played with the Southbank Sinfonia orchestra before branching out to perform on cruise ships. Claire says that this is the perfect way of playing music to large audiences whilst, at the same time, seeing the world. She has travelled extensively and feels so lucky to be able to have had a taster of many countries and be paid for doing so at the same time: Sydney is certainly one place she would love to return to. When on board she gives two or three recitals of a combination of popular and more obscure music and also her own favourite, South American music – much enjoyed by her audiences.

As a teenager, Claire fell in love with a Venezuelan flautist who introduced her to South American music and dancing. The young man has long since disappeared from her life but his legacy of the music and Salsa dancing has remained a big part of her life. She adores the emotion and passion of the music.

Recently Claire joined the Royal Philharmonic as 2nd flautist and has already travelled with them to Barcelona in Spain, Verona in Italy and has toured Switzerland, including participating in the Montreaux Festival, with them. Nevertheless, Claire is her own toughest critic and is always striving to improve – this means practising every single day.

Although a country girl at heart, Claire moved to London as it provides more opportunities for performing as well as pursuing her very busy social life. She may be London-based now but Claire retains her strong links with Peppard as those of us who have been to any of her charitable recitals in All Saints’ Church will know.

Rita Hadgkiss