Acclaimed as a pianist of “amazing power and panache” (The Telegraph), Clare Hammond is recognised for the virtuosity and authority of her performances and has developed a “reputation for brilliantly imaginative concert programmes” (BBC Music Magazine, ‘Rising Star’). In 2016, she won the Royal Philharmonic Society's 'Young Artist Award' in recognition of outstanding achievements. Highlights last year included a performance at the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia, and a concerto tour of Poland, with a newly discovered work by Josef Myslivecek, a mentor of Mozart. Over the autumn, Clare curated three concerts for the BBC at the Belfast International Arts Festival, which were broadcast in November as part of the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts series.
In the 2017/18 season, Clare will perform Edwin Roxburgh’s Concerto for Piano and Winds with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and make world premiere recordings of two keyboard concertos by Myslivecek with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan for BIS Records. BBC Radio 3 and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra have recently co-commissioned composer Kenneth Hesketh to write a concerto for Clare, to be premiered in 2019 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Clare’s most recent disc for BIS, of music by Ken Hesketh, has been widely praised with the Observer describing her as a “star interpreter of contemporary music”. Her previous release, ‘Etude’, received unanimous critical acclaim for its “unfaltering bravura and conviction” (Gramophone) while the BBC Music Magazine stated that “this array of wizardry is not for the faint hearted”. ‘Etude’, and Clare’s previous disc of music by Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik, ‘Reflections’, have been featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ and ‘CD Review’, and on radio in Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the US and Canada.
In 2015, Clare performed at the Barbican Hall, where The Guardian described her as a "dazzling athlete”, and recorded discs for Sony, BIS and Signum. She also made her film debut as the younger version of Maggie Smith’s character, ‘Miss Shepherd’, in the Alan Bennett film adaptation, The Lady in the Van, directed by Nick Hytner. In 2014, Clare gave a Panufnik Centenary tour of Poland with a series of recital and concerto performances, under the auspices of the British Council’s ‘Artists’ International Development Fund’. Her debut recital at the ‘Chopin and his Europe Festival’ in Warsaw was recorded for broadcast on Polish Radio. Clare also co-curated and managed the festival ‘Panufnik 100: a family celebration’ with the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place in London which was hailed as the “culmination of this year’s Andrzej Panufnik centenary” (The Telegraph).
Contemporary music forms an important part of Clare’s work. She has given 35 world premieres including those of major works by composers Robert Saxton, Michael Berkeley, John McCabe and Arlene Sierra. Recently she has premiered and recorded concertos for trumpet and piano by Geoffrey Gordon, Toby Young and Nimrod Borenstein with Simon Desbruslais and the English Symphony Orchestra, to be released on Signum Records.
An active chamber musician, Clare has worked with the Brodsky, Endellion, Badke, Dante and Piatti Quartets and with Henning Kraggerud, Andrew Kennedy, Jennifer Pike, Philippe Graffin and Lawrence Power.
Clare 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.
Clare 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, the Britten-Pears Foundation and the Hinrichsen Foundation.
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