Having started playing the violin at the age of seven because a second violin was needed in the family string quartet, Clare Haythornthwaite soon discovered the joys of music-making. She led her school orchestra from age 12 to 17, played with the Berkshire Youth Orchestra (regularly in the Royal Albert Hall) and then Leeds University orchestra, toured Europe with the Windsor & Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra and since then has played with various other orchestras and string quartets, including a local quartet, The Purple Ladies, that plays for all occasions. She has performed nationally and internationally.
Clare teaches musicianship, recorder, ukulele and violin part time and runs the family multimedia business with her husband Dave McKean: everything from paperwork to photography, painting to performing, posing costumed to nude.
When not playing classical music, Clare loves to dance and play folk music with various folk bands, currently with Re-Jigged, playing and as a caller.
Clare has lost count of the number of years she has played in the Cranbrook Symphony Orchestra, but she started before her children were born. Now that they have flown the nest, she finally has had more time to perform and feels honored to take on leading the orchestra that has brought such joy over so many years.