During the past decade, Pip Clarke has established herself as one of the leading violinists of her generation. A highly expressive and romantic artist, her concert touring has taken her all over the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Pip is a unique musician at the very peak of her talent, and it is said that her tone warms and haunts the listener long after the music has ended. Loved by audiences wherever she goes, critics have described her playing as "dazzling", demonstrating "incredible emotion" and often noting an "audience spellbound".
In April of last year, Albany Records released a CD featuring Pip performing a newly composed violin concerto by American composer Lee Actor. Written for Pip, it is an outstanding composition with lush contemporary romantic melodies and dazzling virtuosity (available from www.albanyrecords.net). This marked Pip's third compact disc release.
On October 26th 2007 Pip gave her sold out debut in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall performing the violin concerto by Erich Wolfgang Korngold with the New York Pops. Other highlights of Pip's 2006/07 season saw the release of her second album, 'After a Dream' featuring a collection of short romantic concert pieces (available from www.classicjewel.net) as well as a performance of the Beethoven concerto under William Boughton and the London Sinfonia, and in spring of this year, she performed Mozart's 3rd violin concerto with the Long Island Philharmonic and David Wiley conducting.
Pip has become highly respected for her interpretations of such romantic works as the Korngold concerto, the Bruch Scottish Fantasy, the Bruch first and second concertos, the Glazunov Concerto, the Walton Concerto, the Saint Saens 3rd Concerto, the Dvorak Concerto, the Prokofiev Concertos, the Goldmark Concerto and the Barber Concerto.
During recent seasons her concert performances took her across the United States and into Canada with appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic (Stefan Sanderling) and the Regina Symphony (Victor Sawa). Highlights in America included three performances with the Florida Orchestra and Stefan Sanderling, the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Hege and six performances with the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Keith Lockhart in Salt Lake City and on tour in Southern Californian performing in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Pip also toured Scotland with critically acclaimed "sell out" concerts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. She was also the featured violin soloist in the major motion picture '15 Minutes' (with Robert De Niro and Edward Burns).
She has also appeared with the Buffalo Philharmonic under the baton of Timothy Muffitt, the Colorado Symphony under Marin Alsop, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra under Samuel Wong as well as a guest appearance at the opening Gala Concert at the Hollywood Bowl. To date, she has performed with over 70 orchestras in the United States alone.
Critics have been unanimous about her playing. Her sound and style have been called "hauntingly unique" and "unforgettable" and her performances described as "commanding", dubbing her "Superwoman of the Strings", having a "fascinating presence".
Pip gave her London debut at just 16 years of age at the famous South Bank Center and quickly began touring throughout her native country England. Her performances took her to such London venues as St. James' Piccadilly, St. Martin in the Fields and several return performances at the South Bank Center. She also appeared on national British Television including a concerto performance with Sir Michael Tippett conducting.
After the release of her debut recording, 'Romantic Violin Showpieces', Musical Opinion (one of Europe's premier classical music magazines) wrote that the disc included "one of the most compelling accounts on record of Chausson's Poéme". Pip has also appeared in recital as one of the "Rising Stars" at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and regular trips to England have seen performances at leading International Festivals including the Wyastone Summer Festival in 2006.
In a competitive age of solo violinists, Pip Clarke stands out. With her breathtakingly romantic style of playing, she is always easily identifiable. The passionate artistry, impeccable technique and luscious tone tell us that there is little doubt that she is one of the brightest stars on the musical platform of the world. She is featured in the 2007 book, 'The World of Women in Classical Music' by Dr. Anne Gray and the revised 2004 edition of 'The Great Violinists' by Margaret Campbell.
IN PERFORMANCES WITH ORCHESTRAS...
The English-born Clarke took on the considerable demands of the Prokofiev concerto, which has some of the most pyrotechnical violin work there is, with flawless musicianship. A violinist can’t be at all tentative with a piece like this, and Clarke was absolutely fearless in both interpretation and execution. This work has long been a showpiece for virtuoso violinists, and her performance of it was, in a word, brilliant. Well, her performances Saturday of the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 and Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending” were all of that and more.
Then, after intermission, Clarke took the stage again with the ASO for yet another auditory about-face. Coincidentally or not, it was an avian second half, with both works after intermission focusing on our feathered friends: “The Lark Ascending” and Respighi’s “The Birds."
"The Lark Ascending” has to be hands-down one of the most transcendent pieces in the violin repertoire. The work is languid and tranquil, depicting a lark flying over the English countryside, soaring higher and higher until eventually it disappears in the sky. It is breathtakingly beautiful, very vivid music, and Clarke’s violin evocation of the lark was just stunning. It was an opportunity to hear a top-flight soloist perform spectacularly at two very different ends of the musical spectrum, with one piece requiring jaw-dropping virtuosity and the other an exquisitely melodic composition by one of the master writers of such works.
Saturday’s performance in all respects earned the standing ovations, plural, which the Adrian Symphony and the truly phenomenal Clarke received for their work. It was an inspired effort on all fronts.
Daily Telegram - April 2012 - Adrian, Michigan
Midland Symphony Orchestra impresses with modern program
Midland Daily News - November 2011
New Haven Register - September 2008 - Connecticut
The next half-hour belonged to the British-born Clarke, who performed what has become her signature piece, the Violin Concerto of onetime movie composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Clarke will perform the work again in October when she makes her debut at Carnegie Hall.
Ten years ago, the writer Steve Schwartz said he once asked a violinist friend of his to describe the violin concerto, and he replied: "Pure corn and pure gold." After hearing it, one understands, and Clarke played the difficult piece with a passion that spotlighted each showcase moment.
Her playing elicited spine-tingling moments, from the soaring solo that opens the concerto to the closing Allegro assai vivace with thematic elements from the film "Anthony Adverse."
Clarke was superb and in control through the electrifying climax. The audience showed its approval with cheers and applause that drew the violinist back to the stage for a poignant interpretation of Fritz Kreisler's arrangement of the Clarence Cameron White spiritual "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen."
Press Register - September 2007 - Mobile, Alabama
The flambe came with a return visit by Los Angeles violinist Pip Clarke to play Max Bruch's fiery 'Scottish Fantasia'. It is an often-heard work, but it acquires a freshness when presented live. As with her appearance last season, when she performed Erich Korngold's 'Concerto for Violin in D Major', Clarke is a commanding figure on stage: tall, erect, scarcely moving. She is statuesque, but never stony. This is no sissy work, but one of great passion, and Clarke gives it all the finesse required. The 'Fantasie' picks up a number of Scottish airs, finishing with the dramatic "Scots wha' hae", in which Clarke was called upon to double, then quadruple, the notes. The orchestration was stirring, using the deep brass to provide a smoky Highland vista, and the harp to add a Celtic flavour. Harpist Olivia Ritchey was called to take a bow during the ovation.
There was speculation among listeners that, surely, Clarke must have been playing a vintage violin to produce her rich sounds. It is good to know that some wonderful things can still be created today, and she confided that her instrument is a 1983 Peresson, crafted in Philadelphia."
The Leder Post - September 2006 - Regna, CANADA
London Sinfonia with William Boughton
The opening octaves of the solo violin showed that Ms Clarke was in control of the structure of the work and was not going to allow it to degenerate into a series of cameos – which can so often happen! Her intonation was secure throughout and her range of colours and beauty of tone poured light into the work's edifices. In the slow movement she weaved a beautiful line in between the Orchestras solemnity, once again maintaining the structure and using a range of vibrato and bowing to achieve her effects. The finale brought this fine performance to a joyful conclusion which was received with rapturous applause.
Let's hear more of this British violinist on this side of the Atlantic please."
South Wales Argos - June 2006 - United Kingdom
I guess, after all these years of reviewing, I've developed an ad hoc set of criteria: If it's exhilarating, brings me close to tears by its beauty and I want to hear it again, then in my book it's great. And my answer to all these questions is "yea." I have no doubt. This is a major work deserving of national attention. It was commissioned by the Mission Chamber Orchestra in honor of its 10th anniversary and Actor delivered full measure.
Not only that, English violinist Pip Clarke, the soloist that evening, is the one he had in mind when was composing. It was a marriage made in musical heaven, as she conquered the heights with stunning technique and timbre. I was riveted from the opening bars to the very end. Where has she been all my life? She is as beautiful in person as she plays the instrument, and is certainly a potent rival to the best of the concertizing violinists who choke the concert stages these days.
Although Actor pays homage to the harmonies and dissonances of modern composers, his work is really steeped in traditional forms and his orchestrations match the best of them. This concerto verges on masterpiece and bodes well for Actor, who is devoting himself full time to the art. Actor is not entirely unknown. The Palo Alto Philharmonic, where Actor is composer-in-residence, has already given readings of his Variations and Fugue for Orchestra, Symphony No. 1, Prelude to a Tragedy, and most recently his Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra. The Redwood Symphony commissioned and performed his "Redwood Fanfare" in 2002. And one of his works is being programmed by the Peninsula Symphony for its next season. But until they hear this violin concerto, they ain't heard nothin' yet."
San Mateo County Times - April 2006 - San Jose, CA
"The symphony, conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer, sounded remarkably together during the film and also in the far more complex piece that opened the concert: Erich Korngold's Violin Concerto in D Major.
The soloist, Pip Clarke, made a strong impression in the first movement, a glassy yet full-voiced sound. From the balcony on Saturday it seemed as if the music was coming from a point about 20 feet above her.
A quick poll at intermission split between listeners who thought her violin might be miked and those who thought not. Either way, Clarke's sensual shaping of the highly atmospheric lines in the first two movements and her flashy technique in the finale were electrifying.
Best-known for his Warner Brothers soundtracks, Korngold was also, at one time, in the front ranks of serious concert composers. His concertos and symphonies reflect some of the Hollywood techniques that he pioneered, brimming with tempting emotionality yet bafflingly sidestepping easy melodic hooks."
Anchorage Daily News - January 2006 - Anchorage, AK
"English violinist Pip Clarke was the guest soloist for the Violin Concerto of Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Korngold, a prodigy once seriously compared to Mozart, was notoriously prickly about the damage done to his reputation among "serious" music lovers by his success as a crafter of classic film scores in the '30s and '40s.
His 1948 concerto is a romantic tour-de-force, full of ravishing tunes lifted from various movie scores and a crowd-pleaser from the very first bar.
Pip Clarke was the right interpreter for this flamboyant and dashing work. She obviously loves the dramatic gestures and yearning chromatic themes that animate the piece, and did ample justice to it all."
Roanoke Times - November 2005 - Roanoke, VA
"Clarke, who made her London debut at the age of 16, has been hailed for her unique style of playing and spectacular sound qualities. She certainly cannot be faulted in terms of spectacular technique. She showed her warm and rich qualities of tone in a lovely encore following a standing ovation, Fritz Kreisler's arrangement of the spiritual "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," a tribute to the current national tragedy in the southern part of our nation."
Flagstaff Sun - September 2005 - Flagstaff, AZ
'SUPERWOMEN OF STRINGS' FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET
Clarke's commanding artistry took immediate possession of the piece, releasing a sonorous rich tone very much her own. Her pitch is dead on and her bowing virtuosic: the two most important elements of violin technique.
She delivered the lovely second movement with a sweet, singing quality when called for, and disciplined give-and-take with the orchestral conversations. The mood meter turned brittle and raucous with the third movement, and Clarke might have sawed her 1983 Italian-made fiddle in two, had her bow had a blade instead of horsehair. It was a free-for-all in gung-ho Hollywood style, as fiendishly difficult for the large orchestra as for the soloist. At times it sounded like the Cavalry was coming to save the day. And all was well that ended well: a triumph for Clarke, Cooper and the WVSO."
Saturday Gazette-Mail - April 2005 - Charleston, WV
VIOLINIST SHOWS HER FLAIR
Clarke has a distinctive sound and an individual style of playing. She has an obvious flair for the romantic gesture and for making virtuoso passagework sound full of substance and meaning. This is no mean feat in the Bruch Fantasy, not a work of great musical significance, but sounding like a major concerto under Clarke's commanding presence and total commitment to the performance. A return engagement would certainly be welcome, especially with a major concerto."
Calgary Herald - March 2005 - CANADA
AUDIENCE TREATED TO ROMANTIC EVENING
Visiting violin virtuoso Pip Clarke, originally from the northwest of England, now based in Los Angeles, has a commanding presence of stage.
Clarke stands quite erect, scarcely moving her body, even in the most passionate sections of the concerto, although if one watches her closely, her face will show traces of her oneness with the music, especially in the highly ornamented variations of the final movement."
Regina Leader-Post - March 2005 - CANADA
"Soloist Clarke, a young British artist who is a Korngold devotee, played with technical polish, big vibrato and lots of verve, obviously secure in the concerto's sometimes stratospheric tessitura."
Ann Arbor News - October 2004 - Ann Arbor, MI
The Lima News - October 2004 - Lima, OH
ORCHESTRA, VIOLINIST TIP HAT TO HOLLYWOOD SOUND
Tampa Tribune - March 2004 - Tampa, FL
November 2003 - Baton Rouge, LA
Mobile Register - November 2003 - Mobile, AL
The Gazette - October 2003 - Cedar Rapids, IA
Clarke formed an elegant synchrony of silver gray gown, straight sandy hair and rich violin as she played with fierce concentration. It may not have looked like fun, but the excellence of her passion transcended these troubled times and earned her a standing ovation, and the orchestra a double bow."
The Citizen - April 2003 - Key West, FL
The Times - March 2003 - Shreveport, LA
The first movement's long introduction displayed sufficient shaping and interpretive interest to carry us to the soloist's first entrance. Maestro Gunzenhauser established an excellent tempo, where no one sounded rushed and the musical weight of every note was heard. The orchestra gave a good account of Beethoven's noble melodies. The second movement is a beautiful larghetto during which the soloist provided the most delicate of arabesques. During tender, hymn-like passages Clarke's vibrato shimmered like polished crystal, and her low register tone was strongly communicative. While the greatest musical interest is focused in the first two movements, virtuosic pyrotechnics come to the foreground in the third. Clarke's immense control allowed the singing quality of her tone to dominate despite the obvious technical challenges."
The Sunday News - February 2003 - Lancaster, PA
The Deseret News, Salt Lake City - January 2002
The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City - January 2002
"English violinist Pip Clarke brought tremendous confidence and finesse to bear on Korngold's concerto, a work receiving its SSO premiere Friday night. Her technique was impeccable, and she handled the bravura writing of this tour de force with ease, a strong bow indeed.
Korngold is best-known for his film scores from the '30s. His concerto bridges the gap between Hollywood and concert music by drawing upon work for the former in each of its three movements: "Another Dawn and Juarez" in the nimble first movement; "Anthony Adverse" in the middle romance; and "The Prince and the Pauper" in the finale. With such varied material, Clarke was up to the task at every turn."
THE POST STANDARD - September 2001
THE JOURNAL - March 2001
The romanticism of Hollywood in the 1930's, not to mention Flynn's dashing screen image, are definitely at play in the violin concerto, and Korngold's themes, especially the passionate opening melody, are striking and memorable. As romantic rumblings conjured by the orchestra and conductor Timothy Muffitt stirred behind her, guest artist Pip Clarke laid the vibrato on, just as she should for this highly romantic concerto. The strength and athleticism of Clarke's playing belied her petite presence. Her confidence in the piece was evident in bold melodies and quick-fingered technical display, both of which Heifetz must have reveled in. After further demonstrating his melodic gifts in the aptly titled second movement, 'Romance' Korngold writes more for a showcasing fiddle than a plaintive violin. Clarke met the challenge, galloping and sawing through the furious finale with much flair."
BATON ROUGE - 2/24/01 - Baton Rouge Symphony - Louisiana
Glasgow Herald - 2/16/01
The Evening Express, Aberdeen - February 2001
The Hickory News, NC 11/15/00
Duluth News Tribune, MN 10/30/00
The Budgeteer News Tribune, MN 10/30/00
The Honolulu Advertiser 9/26/00
The first half of Sunday's concert featured Pip Clarke, who performed a concerto by Erich W. Korngold, a composer best known for his film scores. Shunned in his day for both his film associations and his astonishingly romantic style, Korngold is gaining acclaim, in part because of violinists like Clarke who promote his music. Korngold's music sweeps ashore not in waves, but in whole tides of lush, swirling sound. Clarke bathed in the music, caressing its delicate phrasing and translucent endings. However lovely the first two movements, Clarke shone in the third, with its rollicking good humor, fiery spiccato passages and opulent climaxes."
Honolulu Star-Bulletin 9/25/00
The Denver Post, CO - May 2000
DUO BRINGS BALANCE TO BRAHMS CONCERTO
The News Journal, DE - May 2000
"In Mozart's Concerto No.2 in D Major for violin and orchestra, soloist Pip Clarke, brought a much needed dose of vitality and technical precision .... her sweltering tone and pronounced vibrato .... her performance was energetically executed. A standing ovation and vigorous applause from a warmly supportive audience concluded the performance."
The Cincinnati Enquirer, OH - April 2000
A DOUBLE DOSE OF VIRTUOSITY
The Journal, Lancaster, PA - April 2000
"The orchestra found high ground when they were joined by two first-rate soloists, Pip Clarke (violin) and Wendy Warner (cello). The work was Brahms's Concerto for Violin and Cello in a minor, op.102. Both soloists played with passion and verve, and possessed a virile presence of tone. We witnessed some aggressive playing. Pip Clarke possesses all the hallmarks of a virtuoso, imposing technique, a brilliant vibrato and snappy use of the bow. Her soloistic presence could overbalance Brahms's symphonic concept, but Maestro Gunzenhauser did an excellent job of blending both soloists into the orchestral fabric. Wendy Warner's episodes in double stops demonstrated the full richness of cello tone. In particular, the first movement's last statement of the principal theme conveyed intense emotion and drama. The concerto's second movement is a grandiloquent instrumental song which led soloists and orchestra to an autumnal feeling and warm lyricism. Expert projection of long-breathed phrases delivered a true singing quality. The primary theme played by soloists together demonstrated exceptional consistency in the internal nuance of each line. An energetic Hungarian melody was firmly set by the cello at the beginning of the third movement. Episodes occurring between repetitions of this refrain were managed by the solos, who were well matched and in good rapport. The stern and stately central episode suited the commanding presence of these two virtuosos. The orchestra matched this panache, and the appreciative audience responded with a standing ovation."
Sunday News, Lancaster, PA - April 2000
"Violinist Pip Clarke joined the orchestra for a reading of Prokofiev's Second Concerto. a work that displays contrasting sides of the composer. The soloist intones the opening, which is rather serene, with the orchestra joining in for a layered texture. The second movement is all about melody and the English violinist soared. The finale is a gruff, gutsy dance, and both soloist and orchestra seemed to like digging into the dirt a bit. Clarke's tone was clearly heard."
New and Record, Greensboro, NC- September 1999
"With fingers flying fast and sure, Clarke began with gusto. The English violinist joined the orchestra for Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', leading the way to a smashing performance. Clarke's playing can best be described as fluid, notes falling from her strings like water from a fall. With a flick of her now-long, straight hair, she put her bow to work. The music lent itself to a musician with emotion, and Clarke was the right match. Often nodding and stepping into the notes, Clarke let forth a stream of rich music that was enhanced by her beautifully wavering vibrato. Dancing between long legato phrasing and particular staccato work, Clarke showed the house her amazing versatility and skill."
The Lima News, Lima, OH, - May 1999
"In between we heard an impassioned and insightful reading of the William Walton Violin Concerto from Pip Clarke. Clarke is a young lady of brilliant accomplishments on the violin, as well as making a striking impression on stage. Clarke started the first movement impressively with a passage of smooth but melancholy melody, and she was soon involved in a dramatic duet with the orchestra, whose dramatic outbursts were answered by alternately brilliant solo passage work and songful playing from the violin, at one point in duet with oboe and other with woodwinds. The movement ended with Clarke strikingly playing a chord on two strings in high harmonics. The second movement, a Scherzo in the Neapolitan manner, featured a melody of emotional extravagance (dare I say 'schmaltzy'), which Clarke played broadly. She was also impressive in the brilliant violin passage work against the muted trumpet of Michael Ewald. The finale of the Walton has passages that demand deliberately rough playing. Clarke, a violinist of distinctly dramatic and characterful playing, reveled in Waltonðs mercurial shifts from rough to lyrical smooth. After the playing of the last, big, 'smoky' melody, she was greeted with warm applause and a bright bouquet during three curtain calls."
The News-Gazette, Urbana, IL, - April 1999
SYMPHONY AT ITS BEST FOR SEASON
The Times Observer, Peoria, IL, - March 1999
"Was Pip Clarke's dazzling technique responsible for her fantastic performance Tuesday, or was it the amazing quality of her instrument ? Was it the luminous bowing, the passionate phrasing, or a violin with a tone like liquid silk and molten moonlight ? Yes. There was a magical quality to Clarke's lyricism, as if the god's had given her an endless bow. I didn't watch how she did it; I prefer to believe in magic, and be transported. And oh, that fiddle. In Clarke's hands it sobbed, it sang, it soared like a nightingale. Atlanta was treated to an exceptional artist playing an exceptional instrument. Thank you."
The Times, Atlanta, GA, - March 1999
GUEST ARTIST SHOWS EXPERTISE
The Hickory Daily Record, NC - March 1999
VIOLINIST PUTS ON MASTERFUL PERFORMANCE...CLARKE THRILLS CONCERTGOERS
The Intelligencer Journal, DE - May 1998
"The centerpiece of the evening, William Walton's violin concerto must surely have been new to many of the audience, who probably responded as much to Clarke's playing as to the work itself. Virtuosic from stem to stern but especially in the middle movement, the solo part demanded top agility of Clarke and got it. The piece 'noodles' a good bit , as concerti often do, but music of the time this one 'noodles' in double stops at near breakneck speed. One thrilled to watch and hear all this action, thankfully not as vain glorious display by the soloist but merely to get the music out. She completely served the musical needs - ALL of them!"
Lancaster News, PA - May 1998
"Clarke's performance was dazzling and amazingly nimble. Walton allows the soloist plenty of leeway in the concerto and Clarke did not disappoint. Her playing was assured, warm and rich. She is young but Clarke plays with an amazing amount of confidence."
New Era, DE - May 1998
"To listen to a recording of a classical composition offers one insight into its structure and texture. But to truly appreciate the complexity and drama of a piece , one must see it performed live. Clarke, who emigrated from Britain in 1994, has quickly earned a reputation as one of the premiere violinists of the decade. Comparisons to the legendary Jascha Heifetz are almost inescapable given her dramatically passionate performance style and consistent tonal interpretations. Clarke, a gracious and charming musician of slight build, made the intricate middle section of the Mendelssohn piece appear almost easy, and as the work grew to its tremendous climax she met the challenge with dexterity and poise."
Pioneer Press, IL - February 1998
SOLOIST TREATS CROWD
The Idaho Statesman, ID - November 1997
PIP IS A PIP
Austin News, TX - March 1997
SUPERWOMAN OF THE STRINGS
Lancaster News, PA - January 1997
"Violinist Pip Clarke performed a strong and passionate version of the Sibelius Violin Concerto which comprised the entire second half of the concert. She gave an extraordinary and masterful performance in a work that is both physically and emotionally demanding. Her violin sounded particularly beautiful in the lower registers, and her energy was evident throughout the long piece."
New Era, DE - January 1997
"A brilliant violinist, Pip Clarke gave outstanding performances in the Fulton Opera House. Pip Clarke displayed an excellent command of her instrument and understanding of the music. Her fingers flew over the strings - sure and incisive - and her bowing was firm, her notes clear and her tones quality."
Intelligence Journal, DE - January 1997
"Headlining violinist Pip Clarke closed the evening with the demanding and brilliant Sibelius violin concerto. Clarke is a young artist to be reckoned with. She possesses a top-flight technique and plays with fire and consistency. She is also capable of playing warmly and with emotion. It was a privilege to hear her in Topeka."
The Topeka Capital-Journal, KS - October 1996
"Pip Clarke was the artist chosen for our season opener ... it was great to realize the talent and beauty of the individual. Ms. Clarke's performance clearly indicates why she has been compared to three greats of the violin world (Heifetz, Ricci, Spivakovsky). She possesses a warm, vibrant tone, particularly luscious on the lower strings, which showed to splendid effect in the slow movement. The outer movements revealed her amazing virtuosity, which was always at the service of the music. Our music director made an excellent choice in Ms. Clarke for the season opener."
The Northside Sun, Jackson, MS - October 1996
PHENOM'S GUEST SYMPHONY PERFORMACE FEARLESS
Asheville Citizen Times, NC - October 1996
"... a level of success that most concert violinists can only imagine. In the world of classical music, Pip Clarke is a superstar. ... a veritable lioness of a woman in a low-cut, red and black blouse stared back with sultry conviction - her steamy gaze is hard to meet even on newsprint. What is inside the package ? Listen to selections from Romantic Violin Showpieces or to Clarke playing Korngold's violin concerto and there's never any doubt. She plays powerfully, almost ferociously at times, but the energy is not raw and unrefined, it's well-honed - developed and disciplined by years of practice and study. So forget the soft-focus photography, star-makeup treatment and the sultry smiles - it's 'what's inside' that's earned her the title of virtuoso."
Mountain Express, NC - October 1996
"British violinist Pip Clarke was the featured soloist for Korngold's Violin Concerto, an impressive three-movement work. Clarke's performance shone - her beautiful, ample tone was perfectly suited to this romantic work written in 1945. Clarke was also soloist in a particularly engaging reading of John Williams' 'Remembrances' from 'Schindler's List.'"
The News & Record, NC - April 1996
FLAWLESS DISPLAY FROM SOLOIST!
The Irish Times, Dublin, Ireland - January 1996
"Great expectations can come true. Eye contact and cues between Maestro and soloist appeared to be excellent and the timing between orchestra and soloist flowed; it wasn't on exact beat (it was breathing and most natural as if the music wasn't even being performed by musicians), it was just there in the evening air. Exquisite. The violinist's soft, sensual passages were fluid and shimmering, the gutsy 'Hey I can play' cadenza passages were high voltage, full of electricity. This lady can play. Perhaps it is her bowing technique which is the difference, perhaps it is her extremely small fingers, or perhaps it is her mind fused with the music and the delivery. Who knows ? Someone upstairs gave Clarke an extraordinary talent to share with us mortals. She doesn't sound like anyone I have heard in the concert hall, on record or on CD. As far as I am concerned, concert artists are like fine bottles of wine. When you hear Itzhak you have a bottle of Perlman, when you hear Andre you have a bottle of Watts, and when you hear Pip, you have a nice bottle of Clarke. What a treat, what a day !"
The Columbia Missourian, Missouri - July 1995
IN PERFORMANCE AS RECITALIST IN EUROPE...
"Sheer delight ! Dazzling playing ! ... She charmed her audience with all the sweetness and languor with which Bach had invested in the D minor Partita. .... Beethoven Sonata ... one of the most expertly played Allegro moderatos I have ever heard."
News - Manchester, England
Telegraph - Grimsby, England
Times - Halifax, England
Herald - Farnham, England
Times - Grimsby, England
The Herald - Farnham, England
The Times - England
After A Dream - CD# CJL 0102 (Classic Jewel)
"Southern California based and English born, violinist Pip Clarke is a self-proclaimed romantic, so it comes as no surprise that the most recent compositions here date from the early 20th Century. This is a collection of short, lightweight pieces usually played today as encores. While they are disparaged in some circles today, mastery of this repertoire is essential for developing the ability to find a work's character and to establish and maintain a mood. Clarke is very good at this. Right in the first piece, Fauré's "After a Dream", we hear her sumptuous tone and flexible vibrato. Benjamin Godard's lovely Berceuse from Jocelyn follows, and she shows again her finely cultivated sensibility. All of the works on this release are of slow or moderate tempo, but Clarke is such a skilled interpreter and technician that we never tire of listening. The last CD we reviewed of Clarke's was her first (Sept/Oct 1994); 13 years is too long to wait."
American Record Guide - May/June 2007
Romantic Violin Showpieces - CD# CJL 0101-2 (Classic Jewel)
"Pip Clarke obviously relishes the instrument's unique personality, which can present a down-to-earth character in the extrovertisms of the Carmen Fantasie and a highly sensitive, even caressing romanticism in Saint Saens and Tchaikovsky. ... an admirable introduction to an extremely satisfying and stimulating program. Kreisler's unaccompanied Recitative and Scherzo Caprice is projected with a sense of inspired improvisation which has remained after several hearings. The double-stopping is so assured that the individual voices make individual contributions to the overall conception, a quality further advanced in one of the most compelling accounts on record of Chausson's evocative and moving Poéme. Indeed, I would strongly recommend the disc for the Poéme alone."
Denby Richards - March 1996
"Record reviewers sometimes stumble onto a new star performer and that is what happened with the arrival of violinist Pip Clarke's virtuoso collection, Romantic Violin Showpieces on the Classic Jewel label. Clarke, who is British, young and glamorous - not necessarily in that order - matches the best playing of the new school of virtuoso performers. Midori and Sarah Chang are no better, which is shocking, considering Clarke has remained in their shadow. Her technique is complete, with a tight brilliance of tone close to that of Heifetz's. (Indeed, I had a professional string player walk into my listening room as Clarke's recording was playing, and asked 'Who's that, Heifetz?') She can melt a lyric line with sweetness, but the pinpoint passage work has the fierce intensity of Heifetz. Above all, the tasteful musicianship possesses impeccable precision. There's dignity on this disc, as well as craft. Of late, Clarke has been conquering the United States, to rave reviews. Clearly, those are deserved."
In Tune Magazine - USA
"Her technique is exemplary... passage work in these very difficult pieces is always clean, clear and exciting."
American Record Guide - USA
"There is a gutsy fearlessness to her execution; in a program of hard pieces she favors fast tempos ... she blazes impetuously through the Waxman and the last movement of the Saint-Saens sonata with plenty of dash and brio - she's no mere purveyor of bland, unruffled, unengaged precision. Holshouser, pianist of the Houston Symphony, works hand in glove with Clarke in presenting a 'knock 'em dead' perspective that I associate with Ricci or Spivakovsky. Her recording does convincingly convey that she is a performer who doesn't hedge her bets: this Pip can play."
Fanfare Magazine - USA