Claire Sakai Hazzard, Associate Concertmaster



Who is your favorite composer?

Perhaps Mahler and Prokofiev touch my heart most profoundly with their extraordinary melodic lines. In particular, Mahler’s slow symphonic movements and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet plumb the depths and extremes of emotion.

What do you think is the greatest misconception about classical music?

The stereotypical image of classical music as formal, even staid, is far from what most of us advocate; natural and spontaneous responses to live performances transcend “convention”. As a performer, a giggle, or a sigh from the audience can enhance the entire music experience.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?

If I weren’t a musician, I’d still want to be involved with some form of creative expression…working in a restaurant kitchen or flower arranging.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

This may come as a surprise but I DO enjoy food…dark chocolate in particular.   I just can’t eat very much.

More about Claire Sakai Hazzard

Born and raised in Honolulu, Claire Sakai Hazzard is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and the University of Hawaii where she received a B.A. cum laude in Psychology. She was a member of the Hawaii Youth Symphony for five years and served as concertmaster during her senior year. After several years as a violinist with the Don Ho Show, she joined the Honolulu Symphony in 1975 and has been Associate Concertmaster since 1987.

A founding member of the Galliard String Quartet, Claire was also second violinist with the University of Hawaii faculty string quartet and has participated in the Grand Teton, Peter Britt, Rome, Kapalua, and Maui Chamber Music Festivals. Apart from private teaching, she has also been a chamber music coach at various private schools and local music associations including the Hawaii Youth Symphony. Her teachers have included Honolulu Symphony violinists Arthur Loventhal, Betty Deeg, and LaVar Krantz, as well as Joachim Chassman, Miwako Watanabe, and Yoko Matsuda–violinists in Southern California. After 35 years, Claire has recently retired from the Galliard String Quartet and Chamber Music Hawaii.