We'd like you to meet the University of Toronto's 2020 recipient of the Manilow Music Project, violinist Claire Heinrichs!

Claire grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where at the age of seven her mother took her to her first orchestral performance and immediately asked her which instrument she would like to play. After hearing the soaring melodies of the violin at that performance, she knew right away the violin was for her, and hasn't quit playing since. 

"After about grade 7 or 8, I started taking violin really seriously. I started playing in youth orchestras and The Saskatoon Symphony. Once I made it in (to The Saskatoon Symphony) I realized I could do things musically if I put my mind to it, and getting into U of T was the icing on the cake!"

Claire loves the University of Toronto, where she just finished her second year. "Something special about U of T is obviously it's in Toronto, which is one of Canada's biggest music scenes, so we get a lot of different opportunities to perform in masterclasses and have chamber coaching with different artists. It's been really special to work with some of Canada's top musicians."

At the University of Toronto, The Manilow Music Project Scholarship is chosen by faculty and awarded to a second, third, or fourth-year student who has demonstrated commendable ability in both musical and academic study. 

Claire says winning the scholarship not only validated that her hard work was being recognized, but provided much-needed financial assistance. 

"The scholarship was really helpful in that it allowed met on focus on my music and putting effort into that than focusing on financial stress."

As for what's next, Claire has no intention of slowing down. "In the next few years, I’m excited to grow in my passion for music and to continue to make music with my colleagues. After school, I would love to pursue teaching and have a violin studio. I enjoy working with people. I enjoy learning so grad school is on the radar for me. Currently, I am thinking of pursuing music theory after school, and the dream job would be to be a professor of music theory one day."

 In our discussion with Claire, there was one theme that kept coming up again and again...hard work! No doubt Claire's impeccable work ethic is why the faculty at The University of Toronto chose her as their 2020 Manilow Music Project Scholarship winner. 

Congratulations, Claire!