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Claire Cope

Claire Cope is a British composer and pianist who works across a multitude of genres including contemporary classical and jazz and improvised music. Claire studied piano performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with SallyAnn Macleod where she won the John Ireland Prize and the Principal’s Prize for Improvisation. As a bandleader she has performed at the Manchester Jazz Festival, the London Jazz Festival and as part of the BBC Proms Plus Series, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She currently leads her own contemporary jazz ensemble ‘Ensemble C’, and was awarded an Arts Council England grant in 2022 to develop new music for an expended 11-piece group. Their debut album in 2020 was described by Fiona Ross (Jazz in Europe) as a ‘stunning debut album’, and was reviewed by a number of publications across the UK and internationally, with the Jazztrail in New York writing that the work ‘forecasts a promising future for Cope as a composer’.


Claire has collaborated with a number of musicians and ensembles. In 2019, she composed and performed the short solo piano score for Rob Cope’s documentary film ‘Richard Turner: A Life in Music.’ In 2021, Claire was commissioned by the ground-breaking Apollo Saxophone Quartet to compose a new work, and in 2022 Claire won a Marvin Hamlisch International Music Award (Jazz Composition). She has also composed music for saxophonist Rob Buckland, and trumpeter Lucy Humphris.

In 2023, Claire was selected to participate in the LunART Composer Hub in Madison, Wisconsin, and was also selected as a fellow on the Let’s Bespoken Mentorship programme for 20 female and non binary musicians from around the world. 


Dr. Lisa Neher

Dr. Lisa Neher (she/her, “NEER”) is an award-winning composer and new music mezzo on a mission to transform audiences through sound, story, and vulnerability. With a voice praised as “full and rich” and “especially alive” (Oregon ArtsWatch), Neher’s performance credits include Third Angle New Music, Really Spicy Opera, Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre Oregon, New Music Gathering, Resonance Ensemble, Experiments in Opera, Renegade Opera, and Big Mouth Society. She is a member of Portland Opera Chorus.

Described as a “supremely talented,” “visionary composer” (Willamette Week), “maestro of beautifully wacky noises” (Oregon ArtsWatch) and author of “liquid, impressionist piano writing and fluent melding” of voices (New York Classical Review), Neher’s compositions are inspired by the climate crisis, the tender love of family and friends, and the eerie mystery of deep ocean life. She has been commissioned and performed by the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Cincinnati Song Initiative, Third Angle New Music, FearNoMusic, Dinosaur Annex, New Opera West, Mirror Visions Ensemble, Alma Ensemble, Opera Elect, and Opera Santa Barbara, among others.

Her awards include the Flute New Music Consortium Competition, ICDA/ICF Choral Competition, Mirror Visions Ensemble Young Composer Competition and the Celebris Ensemble Choral Competition.

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Meg Okura

A Tokyo native, Meg Okura is a Grammy-nominated violinist and acclaimed jazz composer residing in the Bronx, NY. She recently won the 2023 ISJAC Fundamental Freedom Commission and the 2023 Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble Prizes. Her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble has performed at venues such as Birdland Jazz Club, Jazz At Lincoln Center, and Blue Note New York. 

A Juilliard graduate in violin, Meg Okura transitioned to jazz, sharing stages worldwide with luminaries including Michael Brecker, Steve Swallow, and Tom Harrell. With a discography of nine albums, including "Ima Ima" and "Naima," she has also contributed to over 100 projects. 

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