About Clara Quartet
The Clara Quartet is an dynamic and vibrant new string quartet based in London. Since its formation in 2014, the quartet has performed at venues including Cadogan Hall, Southwark Cathedral, the Southbank Centre, St Mary Abbot’s Church in Kensington, and the Royal College of Music's Britten Theatre. The ensemble was also selected to record the soundtrack for the re-release of Hitchcock film The Lodger at Abbey Road Studios, in the same hallowed space where the Beatles recorded their albums. The Clara Quartet is looking forward to upcoming engagements and competitions at several venues during the 2015/16 season. Spanish violinist Laura Balboa is currently studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky towards a second Masters at the Royal College of Music, having completed her first Masters cum laude at the Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität. She has performed solo and chamber recitals throughout the UK, Europe and Asia, and is a laureate of several international competitions. Laura is an RCM Scholar supported by the Antonio Brosa Award. New Zealand violinist Olivia Francis holds a Bachelor of Music (1st Class Honours) from the University of Auckland and is now studying at the RCM towards a Master of Performance with Berent Korfker. She was first violinist of the Rothko Quartet, which toured the UK and Europe as winner of the Pettman/ROSL ARTS International Scholarship. Olivia was concertmaster of the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra, and is an RCM Stanley Picker Scholar supported by a Soiree d’Or Award. Violist Anastasia Sofina is from Moscow, and holds an RCM Master of Performance with Distinction where she studied with Jonathan Barritt as a Leverhulme Scholar supported by a Stanley Picker Award. She is a laureate of twelve international competitions and has played with the Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina State Chamber Orchestra. She has recently commenced studies on the RCM's prestigious Artist Diploma programme. French cellist Elia Benhamou studies with Alexander Chaushian, having previously earned her undergraduate degree at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne with François Salque. Elia holds a State Music Diploma in cello, chamber music and composition from the Conservatoire de Lyon, and won the 2008 Young European Talents of Classical Music Competition. Elia also holds a Bachelor and Master of Bioengineering (Brain Imaging) from the Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne and the University of Cambridge.