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Jane Hammond


Jane Hammond’s music explores many places and journeys of the imagination. She is motivated as an artist by the desire to trace connections, to create meaningful pathways and relationships between performers and the music they play, between music and the histories it is part of, and between humans and the world they live in and share with non-humans. She believes that music can challenge, inspire, invigorate and amuse and she constantly seeks to communicate and connect through her creations. 

Jane Hammond compositional output has been wide ranging, from music for small and large-scale community theatre projects to the concert hall. Her compositions have frequently been influenced by her work as a professional pianist and musical director for opera, music theatre and community theatre. While working as a professional opera repetiteur she became involved in composing for the operatic voice and had considerable success with her five operas for children. These works are written for a small ensemble of professional singers, and have been performed in tours for Opera Australia, Lyric Opera Queensland and the Victoria State Opera. They have also toured in Japan, and in the UK including at the Scottish International Childrens’ Festival in Edinburgh. The Scotsman described Software: The Tale of a Virtual Valkyrie as “instantly appealing” saying that “Hammond is a fine and individual composing voice”. These works introduce young people to the operatic voice and live theatre. In a production by Opera Australia, Software toured Victoria and NSW and was seen by over 80,000 children in both states. 

Her song cycle for baritone and piano, Sea Voyage, commissioned by the City of Melbourne Song Recital Award, was premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and described by The Glasgow Herald as a “a compelling song-cycle [and] a dramatically pulsating work”. Two songs from this cycle, “Sea-dogged” and “In Memoriam” won the Benelux International Song and Culture Festival award for best Classical Music Composition. Hammond is the musical director and principal composer of the new Australian music theatre work Voicing Emily: The Life and Art of Emily Dickinson, which she devised with the soprano Helen Noonan. John Slavin, critic of the Melbourne Age newspaper described it as "a work of ravishing beauty and rare artistic distinction”. 

Recent instrumental compositions include her work for wind symphony, Dancing With Ghosts, which was selected as one of the Australian national submissions for the ISCM World Music Days 2011. In a Room with Rachmaninoff for solo piano was premiered at the Melbourne Recital Centre by Ukrainian pianist Tamara Smolyar, and has been performed by her numerous times in Europe and Asia, and recorded by the ABC. A Lyrebird in Paris for clarinet, cello and piano, commissioned by the Lyrebird Music Society, was premiered by Ensemble Liaison in Melbourne in 2011 and broadcast on 3MBSFM. It was also featured on ABC Radio National in 2013. A number of her compositions can also be heard on the Move Record label.  

She is currently completing her PhD at Monash University where she has been the recipient of a Monash Postgraduate Award and recently received the prestigious Monash Postgraduate Publications Award.


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