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 developing a “reputation for brilliantly imaginative concert programmes” (BBC Music Magazine, ‘Rising Star’). In 2015 the Guardian described her as a “dazzling athlete” following her performance at the Barbican Hall, and she was specially invited to perform as part of the ‘In Tune’ Christmas special, her fifth appearance on BBC Radio 3 that year. Over the past year she has recorded discs for Sony, BIS Records and Signum and, in 2014, gave debut performances at 7 festivals across Europe, including the ‘Chopin and his Europe Festival’ in Warsaw.
Highlights in 2016 include her Royal Festival Hall debut with the Philharmonia, and a concerto tour of Poland, to include a newly discovered work by Josef Myslivecek, a mentor of Mozart. In June, Hammond releases her third disc for BIS Records, Horae (pro clara), with solo piano music by Ken Hesketh, and returns to the Cheltenham and Presteigne Festivals later in the summer. Her most recent disc release, ‘Etude’ has received unanimous critical praise 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 Hammond’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 2014, Hammond 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. Hammond 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 Hammond’s work. She has given 24 world premieres including those of major works by composers Robert Saxton, Edwin Roxburgh, John McCabe and Arlene Sierra. In 2015, she premiered and recorded concertos for trumpet and piano by Geoffrey Gordon and Toby Young with Simon Desbruslais and the English Symphony Orchestra, to be released on Signum Records.
An active chamber musician, Hammond is a member of the Odysseus Piano Trio alongside violinist Sara Trickey and cellist Gregor Riddell. She has also worked with the Brodsky, Endellion, Badke, Dante and Piatti Quartets and in duos with Henning Kraggerud, Andrew Kennedy, Jennifer Pike, Philippe Graffin and Lawrence Power. In November 2015 she 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.
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, the Britten-Pears Foundation and the Hinrichsen Foundation.
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