Member Spotlight: Clayton Haslop

The new video feature by Doug Cameron shares a truly inspiring story about world-class violinist Clayton Haslop’s struggle with focal dystonia which left him with the use of only two fingers on his left hand.

Most violinists would call it quits after loosing the use of two of their fingers on their left hand, but Clayton didn’t give up. Instead he not only re-learned how he could play with only two fingers, but actually re-learned the famed Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto — one  of the most well-loved and arguably one of the most difficult violin concertos ever written. When this concerto was first introduced, it was considered unplayable. Most any violinist would say this is an impossible feat, but you’ll soon see why he has been called the “Django Reinhardt” of the violin! See the full and compelling interview with Clayton on Doug Cameron’s YouTube channel.

A longtime member of AFM Local 47, Clayton Haslop joined the professional world of music as a teenager when he was invited by Sir Neville Marriner to join the 1st violin section of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Less than two years later he performed as soloist under his baton in a number of critically acclaimed concerts that quickly established him as one of the leading violinists to emerge from Los Angeles at that time.

In the interim, Clayton has traveled internationally both as a soloist and as a member of several recognized ensembles including the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, the New Hollywood String Quartet, and the Haslop/Sanders Duo (violin and guitar). He has served as Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Music Center Opera, Dallas Opera, Santa Barbara Symphony, and several festival orchestras.

Living in Los Angeles for most of his career, Clayton has performed on well over 1,000 motion picture titles and currently serves in the capacity of Concertmaster for James Horner (Titanic, A Beautiful Mind, The Mask of Zorro, A Perfect Storm, Apollo 13, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, etc.), Don Davis (Matrix, Jurassic Park III), Alexander Desplat (Benjamin Button), and Michael Giacchino (Ratatouille, Up, Star Trek, The Incredibles, Mission Impossible II, Alias, Lost, etc.), as well as several other composers. Clayton has also performed as Concertmaster of the Oscars, including the 2009 Academy Awards.

As a student he was fortunate to spend three years coaching extensively with Nathan Milstein. His other teachers include Eudice Shapiro and George Kast (while a Heifetz and Percy Faith Scholarship student at the University of Southern California), Guido Mansuino, and Sybil Maxwell.