Founded by Toronto Symphony Orchestra musicians Clare Semes and Kelly Zimba, Sonority Sisters is a violin and flute duo that shares music in creative, safe, and socially distanced ways. From classical music to personalized song requests, the pair frequently curates interactive programs for museums, weddings, retirement communities, birthday parties, virtual gatherings, and private events.
Prior to joining the TSO in 2017, Kelly and Clare were both fellows at the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. They recognized Toronto’s hunger for live art when COVID-19 essentially cancelled large scale events, and responded by offering live performances for communities all over the city.
Clare Semes, Violin
Clare Semes is a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra violin section. She is originally from the Philadelphia suburbs and received her Bachelor and Masters degrees from The Juilliard School where she studied with Donald Weilerstein, Ronald Copes, and Laurie Smukler.
In addition to serving as a concertmaster of the New World Symphony, she has served as concertmaster of The Juilliard Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, and continues to perform with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland. Clare has won prizes in the Schadt String Competition, the Caprio competition, and the Schmidbauer International String Competition. As soloist, she has appeared with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Chamber Orchestra, and the Newark Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Clare’s diverse musical interests have led her to performances beyond the traditional concert hall. Highlights include performing at a New York City Fashion Week show for Chloe Sevigny’s Opening Ceremony collection and playing the US national anthem for a Mets game at Citifield.
Kelly Zimba, Flute
Kelly Zimba joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Principal Flute in 2017. She has performed with the Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Palm Beach Symphony Orchestras around the world in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, Royal Albert Hall, and the Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, Chile. She was featured on the cover of Flute Talk Magazine in October 2017.
In addition to performing, Kelly has served on the faculties of NYO Canada, NYO2, Orford Winds Workshop, Credo Flute, Toronto Summer Music Community Academy, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, and Belvoir Terrace in addition to teaching privately across the United States and Canada.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kelly completed her graduate studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and received bachelor’s degrees in flute performance and music education from the University of Michigan. She is greatly indebted to all of her teachers, most especially Leone Buyse and Amy Porter.