Clare Hammond - Biography
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 2014 she gave debut performances at 7 festivals across Europe, including the ‘Chopin and his Europe Festival’ in Warsaw, world premieres of works by 10 composers, and three broadcasts for BBC Radio.
Hammond’s latest disc release, ‘Etude’, has received unanimous critical praise for its “unfaltering bravura and conviction” (Gramophone), was selected as Critic’s Choice by Classical Music Magazine, and the BBC Music Magazine stated that “this array of wizardry is not for the faint hearted”. Both ‘Etude’, and Hammond’s previous disc of music by Andrzej and Roxanna Panufnik, ‘Reflections’, were featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ and ‘CD Review’. In 2014 Hammond recorded music by Sibelius and Rangström as part of a BBC Symphony Orchestra studio concert for ‘Afternoon on 3’ while 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.
Last year 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. 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 premiered a concerto for trumpet and piano by Geoffrey Gordon with Simon Desbruslais and the English Symphony Orchestra and will record a disc of solo piano works by Ken Hesketh 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. In autumn 2015 she will appear as a younger Maggie Smith in Nick Hytner’s film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play The Lady in the Van.
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.