Clare Brassil fell in love with the cello in her first year at high school. She studied voraciously with Nelson Cooke, grabbing an LMusA while still at school, then graduating from the University of Melbourne with first class honours in Music Performance (BMus). She studied in Croatia with Walter Despalj, funded by an E.V.Lewellyn String Scholarship and an Ian Potter Foundation Grant. She returned to Australia and continued her training in the classical disciplines of orchestral and chamber music, with help from such great cellists as Ralph Kirshbaum, Gaorg Pedersen, Nathan Waks, Madame Tortelier, David Strange, Michael Goldschlagger, and Rod McGrath. Through a busy freelance career, Clare has played with the Sydney, Melbourne, Western Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

She followed her cello on many fine pop/rock adventures, playing live with Kanye West, Barbra Streisand, Missy Higgins, Kasey Chambers, Katie Noonan, Lior, Leonardo’s Bride and Olivia Newton-John. She has recorded for Jimmy Barnes, Gelbison, Sleepy Jackson, The Whitlams, Lior, Diesel, and for many advertisements and film scores.

In 2007, Clare returned to her regional home of Wagga Wagga to raise her children and become a school based music teacher. She is passionate about bringing quality instrumental tuition to students in regional areas, and seeks to improve the delivery of instrumental tuition through immersion in contemporary pedagogies. She is Director of Performance Music at The Riverina Anglican College, where she leads a team of instrumental staff to deliver effective small group tuition in a classroom music environment. She also leads a multi-faceted ensembles program at The Riverina Anglican College.

Clare is a graduate of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra Extended Conducting Technique Program and has participated in conducting workshops with Steve Williams from the Arts Unit. She is a conductor of school and community bands, orchestras and string groups. She is often invited to speak at community events, and non-arts sector industry meets.

In 2015, Clare received the prestigious NSW Regional Artist Fellowship, and studied with Julia Kent, Joan Jeanrenaud, and Michael Yeserski in the USA, mastering the art of looping and investigating composition. She has just released her first album, “Cello Riot”, in the emerging neo-classical genre.

Clare is currently completing a Masters of Educational Leadership at Monash University.


Reviews for “Cello Riot” by Cello Riot: 

“(Brassil) doesn’t simply play the cello here, rather she manipulates it into producing soundscapes which are both fascinating and phantasmagoric.”

“Brassil is able to make her music near the tangible”.

“I feel lucky enough to have heard this great record and each time I listen to it I feel renewed in a way. It is both therapeutic and awe-inspiring, and that is exactly what art should be.”

Jamie Robash, Divide and Conquer, August 2017