Claire Chenette, who hails from Iowa, has been principal oboe with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra since 2014. She also enjoys a freelance career in Southern California performing as a member of wild Up, playing with her folk band Three Thirds, recording at Capitol Records and Warner Brothers, and appearing with the San Diego, Pacific, Long Beach and New West Symphonies and the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestras. An advocate for adventuresome music, Claire has been featured by the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series, the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial Festival, the Ojai Festival, on innovative concert series including Monday Evening Concerts, Jacaranda, and WasteLAnd, and at such venerable institutions as Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum, Disney Hall, and Salle Pleyel Paris.
As a soloist, Claire has performed Bach and Mozart concerti with the Knoxville Symphony and Berio’s Chemins IV with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble. Claire has devoted herself to performing contemporary solo repertoire, including many memorized performances of Berio’s iconic Sequenza VII, and to commissioning new works for the oboe. She has had the honor of spending four summers at the Lucerne Music Festival in Switzerland, where she played 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 music festivals. Claire holds a BA in religion with a focus on Islamic mysticism from Oberlin College, a BM in oboe performance from Oberlin Conservatory, and an MFA in performance from California Institute of the Arts. When she’s not making reeds or practicing, Claire enjoys the company of banjos, dabbling in foreign languages, swing dancing, and making things like pottery, beer, and dinner.