Acclaimed as a pianist of “amazing power and panache” (The Telegraph), Clare Hammond is recognised for the virtuosity and authority of her performances and is forging an international career as an advocate of new and unfamiliar repertoire. In 2014 she gave debut performances at 7 festivals across Europe, including the ‘Chopin and his Europe Festival’ in Warsaw, the world premieres of works by 10 composers, and made her concerto debuts with the Kalisz and Lublin Philharmonic Orchestras.
Hammond’s involvement in centenary celebrations for composer Andrzej Panufnik in 2014 saw the release of her first disc for BIS Records, Reflections, described as “commandingly virtuosic” in BBC Music Magazine, selected as ‘Critic’s Choice’ in Gramophone UK, and praised for its “skill, inspiration and clarity” in Gramophone Russia. International Piano Magazine recommended the disc as a “fascinating compendium, expertly executed” and it was awarded 5 stars in Diapason France who stated that “Hammond excels at instilling each piece with atmosphere”. Clare undertook a recital and concerto tour of Poland under the auspices of the British Council’s ‘Artists’ International Development Fund’ while her debut recital at the ‘Chopin and his Europe Festival’ was recorded for broadcast on Polish Radio. She co-curated and managed the festival ‘Panufnik 100: a family celebration’ with the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place in London, hailed as the “culmination of this year’s Andrzej Panufnik centenary” by The Telegraph.
Hammond has been featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Hear and Now’ and ‘CD Review’ programmes, and in January makes her fourth appearance on ‘In Tune’. In 2012 her live recital broadcast of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin from the Wigmore Hall was chosen as one of Radio 3’s highlights of the month while in 2014 she recorded music by Sibelius and Rangström as part of a BBC Symphony Orchestra studio concert for ‘Afternoon on 3’. Her recordings of music by Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik have been broadcast on radio in Sweden, Germany, America, and Canada. In autumn 2015 she will appear as a younger Maggie Smith in Nick Hytner's film adaptation of Alan's Bennett's play The Lady in the Van.
Contemporary music forms an important part of Hammond’s work. In recent years she has given premieres of major works by composers Robert Saxton, Edwin Roxburgh, John McCabe and Arlene Sierra. The Guardian wrote of her performance of Ken Hesketh’s Horae (pro clara) at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013 that she “displayed its scintillating passagework and poetic calm with great flair”. In 2015, she will premiere a concerto for trumpet and piano by Geoffrey Gordon with Simon Desbruslais and the English Symphony Orchestra, release a disc of études by Unsuk Chin, Nikolai Kapustin, Sergei Lyapunov and Karol Szymanowski, and record another of works by Ken Hesketh, both for BIS.
An active chamber musician, Hammond has worked with the Brodsky, Endellion, Badke, Dante and Piatti Quartets and in duos with Andrew Kennedy, Jennifer Pike, Philippe Graffin and Lawrence Power. She is a member of the Odysseus Piano Trio alongside violinist Sara Trickey and cellist Gregor Riddell.
Hammond completed a BA at Cambridge University, where she obtained a double first in music, and undertook postgraduate study with Ronan O’Hora at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and with Professor Rhian Samuel at City University London. She completed a doctorate on twentieth-century left-hand piano concertos in 2012 and is in demand as a speaker, regularly giving presentations for research series at universities across the UK. In 2014 she was paired with French pianist Anne Queffélec on the Philip Langridge Mentoring Scheme run by the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Hammond is grateful for the support of the Fidelio Charitable Trust, Help Musicians UK, Stradivari Trust, Ambache Charitable Trust, British Korean Society, Chandos Memorial Trust, Vernon Ellis Foundation, Polish Cultural Institute, RVW Trust, British Council, Arts Council England, John S Cohen Foundation, and the Hinrichsen Foundation. She is represented by Liz Webb Management.
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