Meet Claire Tatman

Reno Phil Violinist

How long have you been playing music?
I have been playing and learning music since I was six, so about 25 years. I began singing solfège first and then shortly after began learning to play piano. When I was 11, I began the violin, and at 12 completely stopped piano to solely focus on violin. I never practiced seriously nor had my first private violin lessons until my senior year of high school with Steven Moeckel who was the concertmaster of Tucson Symphony back then, now professor of violin at Northern Arizona University.

Surprisingly even though I have classical musicians as parents, I have not played the violin as long as my other professional colleagues because my parents wanted to discourage me from being in a position that is difficult to make enough money in. However, that did not discourage me as I have continued to live, work, and grow into the musician I am today.

How did you pick your instrument?
I picked the violin because my mom plays the violin and had extra instruments lying around for me to use.

I am currently living a musicians life, playing in Reno Phil and subbing for other orchestras, private teaching, and also teaching undergraduate students as a GTA at the University of Nevada, Reno where I am currently working on a DMA in violin and am projected to graduate this Spring.

When you’re not playing with the Reno Phil, what would we most likely see you doing in your free time?
You will see me mostly teaching, working on school related work or activities, or hiking with my boyfriend and wiener dog, Piñon.

What genre of music are you most excited to play?
Of course Classical music, especially from the romantic era.

What is your favorite piece of all time to play, and why?
I love anything that Sergei Prokofiev composed including his Lieutenant Kijé, Love for Three Oranges, and his Romeo and Juliette, mostly for his whimsical ideas and rapid key changes which makes his music so much fun to play and interesting to listen to!

If you could meet one composer/musician, who would it be and why?
I wish I could meet Jesse Montgomery since she is an extremely talented American composer and violinist who is alive and is currently thriving in the classical music world today. Some recent works of hers that have inspired me are her Starburst, Strum, and VooDoo Dolls.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
I have to say anywhere in Japan is my favorite place to visit since since the food is absolutely amazing and equally as well is the vibrant, unique culture! There is never a dull moment in Japan.

What do you think the audience would find surprising about you?
I am an identical twin! My twin is also a musician who plays viola and is gigging and teaching in SoCal. From time to time we visit each other and play chamber music and orchestral gigs together.

What about performing live music brings you joy?
To me performing live in a symphony always brings me that pure, raw excitement that one can only feel when performing and being musically exposed to an audience and experiencing that connection all together at the moment is so special. I truly live for that excitement that we can experience during live performance.