Sarah Claman is specialised in violin performance [1] and ethnomusicology[2]. She focuses on improvisation as a means of sparking dialogue and opening up the lines of communication between people[3]. She aims to provoke curiosity and generate empathy both in performance and in the process of creation.

Her main tool is her naturalistic approach to violin technique[4], focusing on how the body and the effect of gravity upon it can produce sound at the instrument. This leads to her work with movement, both on her own and in collaboration with others[5]. She also has a strong interest in the musicality of text, its use in performance and as a compositional tool[6].


[1] She studied at the University of Otago (NZ), Dartington College of Arts (UK), the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ES) and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam (NL).

[2] Her Honours dissertation in Ethnomusicology was entitled Beating the Bronze: The Shaping of Central Javanese Gamelan in Contemporary Contexts and involved both field-research and interviews with Dr. Joko Susilo and Dr. Anthony Ritchie on their approaches to composition for the Javanese gamelan.

[3] Recently, she performed as a free-improviser at the MIA Festival in Portugal, the Mucca Mini Impro Festival in Germany and the Barcelona Impro Festival in Spain as well as performing and recording with the Discordian Community Ensemble in Barcelona and being an active member of the free improvised music scene in Amsterdam.

[4] This was sparked by her experience studying with Raquel Castro at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona.

[5] In 2013 she was a founding member of the contemporary performance company 3cossos, in which she co-created and performed an hour-long piece entitled endistància. More recently she has been taking part in workshops and improvising with dancers around the city of Amsterdam.

[6] In 2016/2017 she was studying in the programme Contemporary Music through Non-Western Techniques at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where her eyes were opened to the vast possibilities of rhythm and saw a connection between this and the musicality of spoken text.


Review from Sarah’s performance of Haydn’s C Major Violin Concerto with the Dunedin Youth Orchestra:

“Stamps and cheers from a full house rewarded violin soloist Sarah Claman and her strong and energetic interpretation of Haydn’s Violin Concerto No 1 in C. Virtuostic challenges, double stopping, melodic leaps, triplet rhythms and chromatic shifts in the romping Presto and the dancing Allegro Moderato movements were met with steely assuredness. The Adagio was performed with a powerful sense of lyricism, majesty and calm. Claman is indeed a fine young musician and gave a thrilling performance.” -ODT 24 September 2009

Review from the inaugural performance at the BCN Impro Fest 2016:

“A collision of delicate fragments – Lai’s piano conjures up spring rain, Schneider’s non-verbal acrobatics are awe-inspiring and playful in equal measure, the scraping of Claman’s strings raise the hairs on the arms (mine, not hers as far as I know), and Vega’s flute provides an almost-not-there bubbling undercurrent. There’s an easy randomness at work here alongside an atmosphere of close attention and deliberation; indeed, some of the most effective moments are when voice and flute briefly merge into a single rich sound.” – A Jazz Noise 9 February 2016


Contact: sarah.claman@gmail.com