Claire Chenette

Principal Oboe

Claire Chenette


GRAMMY-nominated oboist Claire Chenette has been principal oboe with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra since 2014. Outside of the KSO, Claire performs in diverse settings as a member of the Des Moines Metro Opera, Wildup modern music collective, and Knoxville-based new music ensemble Nief Norf. Claire is a regular guest with the San Diego, Pacific, and Chattanooga Symphonies and the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestras, among others. She has performed as concerto soloist with the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, and the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. As a recording artist, Claire has appeared on many film and TV scores and has credits as both performer and songwriter with her bands Bearcubes and Three Thirds. Her recording with Wildup, “The Pieces that Fall to the Earth,” was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY award in the best chamber music/small ensemble performance category.

An advocate for new music, Claire has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series, the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial Festival, the Lucerne Festival, and the Ojai Festival; and at institutions such as Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, Disney Hall, and Salle Pleyel Paris. Claire has devoted herself to performing contemporary solo repertoire, including many memorized performances of Berio’s iconic Sequenza VII/Chemins IV, and to premiering new works for the oboe. She spent four summers at the Lucerne Music Festival in Switzerland under the direction of Pierre Boulez, Simon Rattle, and Heinz Holliger, and has been in residence at the Breckenridge, Spoleto, Bang on a Can, and Aspen summer festivals.

Claire holds an MFA in performance from California Institute of the Arts and two bachelors degrees in oboe and religious studies (with a focus in Islamic mysticism) from Oberlin. She is on faculty at Carson-Newman University and Nief-Norf Summer Festival. When she’s not making reeds, practicing, or teaching, Claire enjoys growing vegetables, brewing beer, listening to folk music, and bicycling. She recently co-wrote the film score for the 2018 IndieMemphis-IndieGrant-winning rock musical “Space Submarine Commander,” and is currently completing coursework and volunteer hours to gain her Master Gardener certification.

* Member of the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra

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