A b o u t
Before receiving any formal musical training, Joanne would sing, improvise and compose on the piano, whilst exhibiting a natural understanding of pitch, rhythm, and harmony. She also had the unusual ability to play and memorise pieces after one listening due to the gift of perfect pitch. Despite going through classical training (instrumental lessons/orchestras/choirs), she listened to jazz records (thanks to her father), soundtracks and 90’s pop music, and later developed a love for R&B and hip-hop music.
At the age of ten, she was invited to perform and improvise with ten-time Grammy award winner Bobby McFerrin at Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Since then, she has supported and played with other artists such as Emeli Sandé, Michael Kiwanuka (Mercury Prize winner), Rae Morris, Matt Corby, The Staves and Roo Panes, a UK band whom she performs and tours with regularly. Their music has featured on BBC radios, US TV series such as ‘Parenthood’ and ‘Royal Pains’, trailers and adverts in the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Australia. Their singles 'Know Me Well' and 'Indigo Home' were selected exclusively for the Burberry Fall/Winter global campaign, and the track ‘Tiger Striped Sky’ currently has over 90 million plays on Spotify.
In 2010, Clara was offered the Rothschild Guernsey scholarship to study Composition and Piano at the Royal College of Music with eminent British composers Kenneth Hesketh and Jonathan Cole, specialising in contemporary classical composition. She also learnt with Korean-born composer Unsuk Chin through an international program sponsored by Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016. During this time, she studied Conducting with Peter Stark and Natalia Luis-Bassa, as well as Composition for Screen with Vasco Hexel and Enrica Sciandrone. Joanne has since scored for award winning short films and art installations that have shown in national film festivals, galleries, and museums in Hong Kong, Nanjing, London, Manchester, Vienna, Udine, and Boston.
Clara’s unique interest in the arts and multimedia productions has led to special commissions from the Royal Academy of Arts, The National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery, to write music for architectural exhibition ‘Sensing Spaces’ (in collaboration with Pritzker prize winner Eduardo Souto de Moura), the unfinished painting ‘The Entombment’ by Michelangelo and the annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition.
Last year, Clara was commissioned to compose and perform ‘Moved’ with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, a piano concerto adapted from her first instrumental EP ‘Lifted’. This was followed by recording her second instrumental EP, which is scheduled to be released in Dec 2019. Earlier this year, she worked as a composer and live performer on the cello with the award-winning Akram Khan Company on ‘Portraits in Otherness’, a solo dance production in collaboration with Peacock Dance Company in China, which was premiered at Sadlers Well Theatre in London, followed by performances at Julidans International Festival in Amsterdam in July and the Shanghai International Arts Festival in October.