What I’m Listening To: Claire Shaw

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You’ve heard the music they create, but have you ever wondered what’s on the playlists of our Jazz Orchestra musicians? We’ll be revealing just that in our What I’m Listening To series.

This week, we caught up with our baritone sax chairholder Claire Shaw to give us an insight into what she’s listening to and what inspires her.


Ravel – Daphnis and Chloe

I first heard this piece when I was studying at college a few years ago. I’ve always been a big fan of romantic harmony, and this is one of the most colourful pieces of music I’ve ever heard.


Firebird Suite – Stravinksy 

This piece has a huge orchestration and creates such a mesmerising atmosphere in the concert hall. The famous 7/4 finale is a personal favourite of mine – it has immense amounts of energy and is a great listen if you need some inspiration to be productive. The suite also features as part of the soundtrack to Disney’s Fantasia 2000 which is where I first heard it many years ago.


John Williams – A Life in Music

More massive orchestrations, lush harmonies and soaring melodies! I really enjoy listening to film music as there’s often so much intricate detail that doesn’t get the attention it deserves in film production. Williams is an absolute genius, and this album especially is incredibly uplifting.



Miss Saigon – Original Cast Recording

Alongside NYJO, I play in a lot of musical theatre productions, and love the genre. I enjoy performing lots of different musical theatre styles, whether it’s a chamber orchestration or more of a big band feel. Of all the shows I’ve listened to, Miss Saigon really stands out. The writing itself is quite orchestral and the music is challenging to play, but it is really satisfying to listen to as a finished product. There’s a density to the writing that compliments the drama on stage very effectively; a great listen and a great show.


Dancing Men – Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich

This is just a great tune – it gets stuck in my head every time I hear it and always lifts my mood. I’m a fan of a lot of Buddy Rich music for those very reasons. Dancing Men may be lesser well known than some of the other Buddy Rich classics, so if you haven’t heard it, give it a listen!


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