Modern and Baroque Violin


Violinist Clara Lyon brings her distinct voice to music from the baroque to the avant garde.  Based in New York City, Ms. Lyon enjoys a diverse career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher.  She performs regularly with many of New York City’s leading contemporary music groups, including Argento Ensemble and Exponential Ensemble, and is a founding member of the Colonials, a mixed-period ensemble.  Ms. Lyon relishes the opportunity to collaborate with composers of our time, and has worked composers ranging from 20th Century musical giants such as Elliott Carter, to emerging composers such as Samuel Carl Adams and Andy Akiho.  As a fellow of Ensemble ACJW, Ms. Lyon performed major works in high-profile New York venues, including leading the Carnegie Hall premier of Olivier Messiaen’s Des Canyons Aux Étoiles as concertmaster under Maestro Robert Spano. 

A passionate advocate for the arts, Ms. Lyon has been a teaching artist for Ensemble ACJW.  As a teacher, Ms. Lyon has also been in residence at Ithaca College, and has participated in performing residencies at Skidmore College, Cornell University, Fordham University, and The College of New Jersey, as well as St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Haiti.  Ms. Lyon is the frequent guest of orchestras across her home state of Pennsylvania, and has also performed concertos with the orchestra of the Festival de la Orquestra Sinfonica Juvenil de las Americas in Puerto Rico, and the Viva-Vivaldi Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.  She is a prizewinner of the Schadt International Violin Competition, the NFAA ARTS National Awards and the International Irving M. Klein Competition, among others. 

Natural Habitats:

Hometown: State College, PA
Places lived:  New York City for 8 years, Stony Brook for 2, and on her way to Chicago!


Which instruments can you play?

"Violin, mandolin (badly), singing for fun."


What music turns you on?

"Everything under the sun!" 


Got a pre-concert ritual?

"Streetttchiiiiiiiing.... I always try to find a quiet place to go over a few passages slowly, and do some yoga.  I also like to ramp up my energy level by listening to some classic rock while getting dressed and putting on my makeup..."


If you had to be blasted back in time as an actual Colonial, which era of colonization would you be psyched to be a part of?

"The American Revolution.  Such an exciting time in history and what an opportunity to stand up for personal freedoms."