Claire van Kampen

Claire van Kampen originally trained at the Royal College of Music in London. Studying music theory with Dr. Ruth Gipps, and piano with Peter Element, she specialised in the performance of 20th century music, premiering many works by today‘s leading composers. She subsequently developed an international career as a composer/performer, writing and playing for theatre, radio, television and film soundtracks and the concert hall.

She began her theatre career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1986, and then the Royal National Theatre in 1987, becoming the first female to be a musical director with either company. From the Opening of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre  she served as Artistic Associate (to Mark Rylance) from 1996-2006, and as musical consultant and resident composer to the subsequent Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole from 2007-2015. She is currently the Globe Associate and Senior Research Fellow for early Modern Music, and Creative Associate of the Old Vic theatre, London.

In the U.S. Claire has created original scores for Broadway productions of True West (2000), Boeing-Boeing (2008) and La Bete ( 2010), Twelfth Night and Richard III ( 2013/14) and her own authored play Farinelli and the King ( 2017/18) –which was nominated for 6 Olivier and 5 Tony Awards including Best Play. In 2018 Claire made her debut as Director at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, with Othello, starring André Holland in the title role.

As well as adapting Farinelli and the King for the screen, Claire is involved as a writer and director of upcoming film and TV projects, including a film about the painter Elaine de Kooning, to be filmed in New York City.

As a composer, Claire’s ballet ‘Uncaged’-with choreographer Antonia Franceschi- premiered with the New York Theatre Ballet Company in February 2020, continuing a very fruitful relationship with that company after Antonia and Claire’s debut piece ‘She Holds Out Her Hand’ (2018). Further collaboration with Antonia followed with then Riccardo’s Broschi’s 1730 opera Idaspe for Pittsburgh’s Quantum theater. Claire is working with Antonia and Darren Raymond on a new play ‘White Swan/Black Swan’ –to be workshopped in collaboration with the Royal Ballet, UK, July 2022, which focuses on the subject of racial stereotyping within the world of Classical Ballet. Future projects include:

The Traviata project: in partnership with the Royal Opera,with Intermission Youth and co-directed with Darren Raymond.

‘Steel’– a television series for Amblin, co-writing with Mark Rylance.

Arranging the historical on-screen music for the BBC’s ‘The Mirror and the Light’- the sequel to ‘Wolf Hall’.

Directing Les Fetes de Thalie for Opera Lafayette in New York and Washington in 2024.

Claire is also writing a book specifically on Shakespeare and Music.

Awards The Vero Nihil Verius  award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, (Concordia University, Portland, Oregon U.S.A.) and the 2007 Sam Wanamaker Award.

Claire was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Brunel University in 2019.