Claire Whitson


Claire Whitson – Double Bass


Claire started her musical career early on at the age of 3. Being a daughter of two musicians in London, Claire was surrounded by the arts and it didn’t take long for the ‘excitement‘ of the profession to grab her.

Finding Her Groove

Having started on the Cornet, Claire then moved onto the Cello and then finally found her groove with the Double Bass aged 10. After a few months Claire was a member of the National Children’s Orchestra and after a few years moved onto the NYO GB leading to a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music.


Whilst studying Double Bass at the Royal Academy, Claire was a member of EUYO and led all the orchestra’s at the conservatoire. Further to this, Claire was awarded the Manlio de Selma Prize for Bass playing.

Claire was destined for a successful career and this began whilst still at the Royal Academy.

Claire Whiston plays double bass for orchestra of the swan
Claire Whiston Double Bass Orchestra of the Swan
TV, Film and West End Productions

Claire was a regular player with all UK orchestras including the Philharmonia, London Symphony Orchestra, all BBC Orchestras and working in the West End and on TV/Film sessions including Downton Abbey, Dr Who and many films.

After 7 busy years of a London freelance career, Claire moved to set up a life with her husband (from Somerset) that coincided with a trial for BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Claire was offered this job (and another with the BBC Symphony,) but decided to remain in Somerset. Having been a member of BBC NOW for 11 years as well as freelancing still.

Teaching and Diverse Bass Playing

Claire has also had 2 daughters – Olivia and Matilda. This led to a decision to cut down the playing with the BBC and focus more on family life, teaching and more diverse Bass playing. This then led to work with The Swan in many different ways, education – dementia care projects, as well as the mainstream concert series.