Claude has a winning combination of passion and good humour that inspires music lovers of all ages. Since founding the NSCE in 1998 alongside Jay Knutson, his artistic vision has been our organization’s guiding light. Claude brings his orchestral violin experience from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and the CBC Radio Orchestra together with a passion for folk music, creating an innovative youth strings program that has touched thousands on the North Shore. It sprung from a desire to explore and interact with all aspects of music, to connect with community and bring out the best in others, and an innate quest for excellence in music. For this accomplishment, Claude was recognized with a 2016 Outstanding Supporter of Youth Award from the City of North Vancouver.
Beyond the NSCE, Claude teaches private violin lessons in Lynn Valley. When he doesn’t have a violin - or even a recorder - in his hands, he loves hiking in his backyard: the North Shore mountains. He also works toward becoming fluent in Japanese, his third language.
Immersed in Celtic music since childhood, Kirin brings a passion for and deep knowledge of the folk tradition into the classroom. She began her musical journey with the Coast String Fiddlers of Roberts Creek, BC and went on to acquire a Diploma in Jazz Piano from Capilano University. The NSCE met Kirin backstage at the 2013 Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Since then, she has been a regular composer, arranger, and performer for the group. Kirin performs as a duo with guitarist William Chernoff.
Kirin is also passionate environmental educator and hobby beekeeper. In 2016, she received an Award of Excellence from Interpretation Canada for her work in educational musical theatre with Alberta Parks. Presently, she facilitates nature stewardship programs in city parks.
Clara Rose is one of Vancouver’s most distinguished young performers. Clara began composing for violin at age 10, drawing inspiration from her community and the vivid landscape of British Columbia. In live performances, she layers intricate, funky fiddle grooves and pensive melodies, with jazz, Celtic, Balkan, and Scandinavian folk heavily influencing her sound. Currently, Clara performs with Canadian bands Twisted Hazel, The Burying Ground, East Van Jug Band, cozy, and Surprise! Surprise! In addition to her musical pursuits, she also performs as a clown, fire spinner and acrobatic stilt dancer!
Clara has studied fiddle with Canadian greats such as Trent Freeman, Oliver Schroer, Daniel Lapp, Jaron Freeman-Fox and Anne Lindsay. In 2018, she was selected as one of 16 young string players to participate in the prestigious Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, Georgia, directed by Mike Marshall and Julian Lage. Exploring new ground while staying connected to classical, jazz and folk roots, Clara brings a flare of variety and youthful enthusiasm that is sure to inspire!