Claire Wickes - Flute
Principal flute English National Opera and soloist
Claire Wickes is the Principal Flute of the English National Opera Orchestra, a position which she was appointed to in 2015 at the age of 23. As an orchestral musician she is a regular guest principal flute with all major London orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, and many others across the country.
Claire achieved international competition success as a prizewinner at the Aeolus Competition, and is in demand as a concerto soloist in Germany and the UK.
Claire has been teaching the flute for over a decade, and has taught students of all ages and levels, from complete beginners to aspiring professionals. She is a friendly and enthusiastic teacher, who combines a direct approach with support, encouragement, and flexibility according to her students’ needs.
She regularly takes flute classes at the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As an undergraduate Claire read music at Brasenose College, Oxford, where she held an academic scholarship and graduated with first-class honours.
She subsequently completed her Masters degree at the Royal College of Music; she now frequently returns to the RCM as a mentor and examiner.
Watch Claire play here
'I studied with Claire for a year, and I found that all of her lessons were most constructive. Claire made me view my own playing in a more advanced way due to her ideas and suggestions, which enabled me to advance greatly within such a short period of time. She challenges and this in turn helped me grow exponentially. Claire is able to identify certain issues you may have and will tailor to your needs, but still leave you room for your own thinking. Claire gave me the confidence to approach auditions in a calm way, with all of her own experience in the music profession. Her teaching is fit for all, and I would wholeheartedly recommend her to any flautist of any age.'
As her pupil I have been so impressed with Claire’s ability to put me, a nervous, highly self critical pupil at her ease and to encourage me to keep going right from the first lesson. As a student, you always feel that she is adapting her advice to you, not offering some generic remedy. She has firm knowledge and expertise, is well-prepared and thorough, and in addition has an extra degree of empathy, intelligence, charisma and intuition. Most importantly, progress has been made!