Duo Armande (clarinet & violin/viola)

"Duo Armande is a unique & versatile ensemble that is a great alternative to more traditional groups."

Vibrant and talented musicians Claire Hawkes and Shulah Oliver met whilst studying at the Royal College of Music. Duo Armande have performed extensively throughout Britain at events and venues including The National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Winchester Cathedral, More Music @ The Scoop London & the Worcester Live Festival.

Duo Armande enjoy exploring the repertoire for the unusual combination of both clarinet and violin and clarinet and viola.  Their discoveries into this repertoire have led them to a variety of works ranging from Bruch's well-known and beautiful Clarinet and Viola Concerto to the delightful but lesser known music of Busch, Jacob, Hindemith and Rebecca Clarke.  The repertoire also includes arrangements of works by better-known composers such as Mozart's Sonata and Beethoven's 3 Duos originally for Clarinet and Bassoon.  Claire and Shulah also have an eclectic selection of popular classics and folksongs to suit their instruments and clients. 

The Duo are actively involved with education and outreach work, and are committed to making music accessible to the community.  They have run highly successful education workshops at mainstream and special needs schools and have experience of working and playing in community settings including hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and day care centres for adults with special needs.

When not performing as Duo Armande, Claire and Shulah are in demand as soloists, and chamber musicians.  They also freelance with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and English Symphony Orchestra and have worked under eminent conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Sir Richard Hickox, Sir Colin Davis and Sir Charles Mackerras.

As members of other ensembles Claire and Shulah have performed at a variety of prestigious events and venues including Cheltenham International Festival, BBC Proms, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting People's Forum in Uganda, the Southbank, Concertgebouw and Royal Albert Hall.