Faculty Biographies

Dr. Corey Hamm, B.Mus. (Alta.), M.Mus., D.M.A. (Minn.)
Associate Professor, Piano and Chamber Music
Co-Director UBC Contemporary Players
Graduate Coordinator, Keyboard Division

Office: 604.822.3522, Room 307
Email: corey.hamm@ubc.ca



Corey Hamm, pianist

Dr. Corey Hamm has commissioned, premiered and recorded over one hundred solo, chamber and concerto works from such Canadian composers as Brian Cherney, Howard Bashaw, James Harley, Chris Paul Harman, Malcolm Forsyth, and composers from all over the world.

The 2011/12 season featured Hamm in the World Premiere of Jordan Nobles' Piano Concerto with conductor Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, as well as Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. In addition, Hamm gave solo recitals (including works by Rzewski, Fujikura, Ter Veldhuis, Godin), masterclasses and lectures in Chicago, New York, Winnipeg, Eugene, Evansville, Carbondale, Muncie, as well as concerts and a recording (Beyond Shadows, out soon on Redshift Recordings) with his new music ensemble The Nu:BC Collective, and a recording with clarinetist Cris Inguanti (Terra Nova, on Redshift). He was also busy as piano competition judge for five weeks in Hong Kong.

The 2012/13 season will see Hamm give World Premieres of solo piano works written for him by Dorothy Chang, Keith Hamel, Howard Bashaw, and of chamber works written for The Nu:BC Collective by Keith Hamel, David Eagle, Scott Godin (Nu: BC will give performances in Chicago and Toronto, too). It will also see the first of many World Premieres of new works for erhu and piano written for him and virtuoso erhu player Nicole Li as they embark on an exciting cross-cultural commissioning project of many Chinese and Canadian composers before touring and recording the new works over the next two years in both Canada and China. In Oct. 2012 Hamm will perform Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire with the Music on Main All Stars in Vancouver.

Since 2008, when he organized a festival in celebration of the 70th birthday of Frederic Rzewski - RzewskiFest (with Rzewski in attendance and performing) - Corey has given over fifty performances of Rzewski's hour-long solo piano epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated!, which he will record after working with Rzewski in Brussels summer 2012. His performances (with associated lectures and master classes) have taken place in such cities as Hong Kong (5), Singapore, Taipei, New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Camrose, Brandon, Winnipeg, Guelph, London, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, Bellingham, Pullman, Evansville, Muncie, Carbondale, and Minneapolis, with more performances to come.

Corey Hamm's performance [of the Rzewski] on Sunday afternoon was a superb one, technically very fine but also emotionally committed; it held the audience transfixed for its duration" - Deryk Barker, Music in Victoria.

"Endurance, stamina and living the moment on the edge rather than absolute digital accuracy characterised Hamm's take [of the Rzewski]. The ebbs and flows of the music were very well judged... Through all of this, Hamm captured its improvisatory and free-ranging spirit with aplomb... There were missed and fluffed notes at the heat of the moment, but he was mostly accurate, leaping over each thorny thicket with great courage and conviction. He really believes in this music."  - Chang Tou Liang, The Straits Times, Singapore

Recent seasons  have seen Hamm give performances (including numerous World, Canadian and Vancouver Premieres) of works by György Ligeti, György Kurtag, Dai Fujikura, Salvatore Sciarrino, Michael Finnissy, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Guillaume Conneson, Phillipe Leroux, Brian Cherney, Pierre Jodlowski, Chris Paul Harman, David Rakowski, Michael Tenzer, Nikolai Kapustin, Jerome Blais, Kaija Saariaho, Per Norgaard, Marco Stroppa, Stephen Montague, Elliott Carter, Marc Mellits, Ali Askin, Somei Satoh, Gerard Grisey,  Ronn Yedidia, Michael Oesterle, Scott Godin,  Dorothy Chang, Keith Hamel, Stephen Chatman, Jocelyn Morlock, Jordan Nobles, Chris Sivak, Lee Hoiby, Kamran Ince, Owen Underhill,  Michel Gonneville, Howard Bashaw, Franco Donatoni, Frederic Rzewski, Toshio Hosokawa, Laurie Radford, Hope Lee,  among many others.

Dr. Corey Hamm is both an internationally performing pianist and Assistant Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He is Director of the UBC Contemporary Players and joined the faculty of UBC in Fall 2005. Dr. Hamm is honoured to be nominated for and winner of the 2008/2009 UBC Killam Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Hamm is also on the Piano Faculty of the fantastic Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP, or Sick Puppy!) at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has also been a Co-Director of the also-fantastic Young Artists Experience (YEA) in Vancouver.

Hamm's performances as soloist and chamber musician have been broadcast on CBC Radio, NPR and Polish Radio in Canada, the USA, and Europe. He has performed as concerto soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, Lethbridge Symphony, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, CTV Orchestra, and The Symphonic Wind Ensembles of the University of Bitish Columbia, and the University of Minnesota.

Hamm is pianist with the prominent new music ensemble The Nu:BC Collective. With Nu:BC ("a delightfully diverse evening of sights and sounds" - Georgia Straight) he has performed multimedia concerts of works by Gyorgy Ligeti (danced and choreographed by Emily Molnar "a dazzling performance of five excerpts from Gyorgy Ligeti's lengthy Etudes for piano" - Georgia Straight); Howard Bashaw ("Hamm was easily the most impressive member of a well-rehearsed and disciplined band" - Georgia Straight); George Crumb ("navigated the subaqueous atmospheres of George Crumb's Vox Balaenae with ease" - Georgia Straight); Gyorgy Kurtag, John Adams, Michel Gonneville, Chris Paul Harman, Nikolai Kapustin, Steve Mackey, Bright Sheng, Frederic Rzewski, Chen Yi, Dorothy Chang, Lee Hoiby, and many others. The Nu:BC Collective is proud to have been a part of Vancouver Pro Musica’s Sonic Boom new music festival for the last four years, premiering dozens of works by Vancouver composers.  In 2010 the Nu:BC Collective will also be involved in an exciting collaboration with the BC Chinese Music Ensemble involving new works for both Chinese and Western instruments.

Hamm is also a founding member of the Canadian two-piano, two-percussion ensemble Hammerhead Consort, formed in 1990, and winners of such important Canadian awards as the Sir Ernest Macmillan Memorial Foundation Chamber Music Award (1992), and the CIBC National Music Competition (1991), as well as the 1993 ARIA Award for Best Classical Recording. Their second CD, Traffic, was released on Arktos Recordings in 1999. Hammerhead Consort performed in a live broadcast from the prestigious Witold Lutoslawski Studio in Warsaw while on tour in Poland in June 2000 (under the auspices of both The Canada Council and Polish Radio), and garnered rave reviews at the 2000 Winnipeg New Music Festival. With Hammerhead, Hamm has given over forty performances of Bartok's masterpiece, Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, plus performances of works by Rzewski, Kapustin, Helweg, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, as well as over forty works written for the Consort by such noted Canadian composers as Malcolm Forsyth, James Harley, Howard Bashaw, David R. Scott, Sean Ferguson, among others. CBC Radio recorded Hammerhead in premieres of works by Hamel, Helweg and Godin at the opening concert of New Music Concerts 2004-2005 season in Toronto. The Consort premiered Howard Bashaw's Concerto for Two Pianos and Two Percussion with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in March 2000.

In June 2006 Hamm was pianist for an exciting month long project in Bali combining a small western septet from Vancouver with a Balinese Gamelan in a new work by composer, performer and ethnomusicologist Michael Tenzer. Red Letter Films made the documentary Bali by Heart about this fascinating project (available on amazon.com.)

"Pianist Hamm's Gift Unlocks Mysteries of Music," the Halifax Chronicle Herald wrote of Corey Hamm's solo concert tour promoted by the Debut Atlantic organization. Other tours of Canada have been sponsored by the Debut Incorporated series in Montreal and the Debut series at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Corey Hamm won first prize in the 2004 Elinor Bell Piano Fellowship Competition in Minnesota, was a semi-finalist in the 5th Orleans International Contemporary Piano Competition in Orleans, France 2002, and was the second prizewinner at the 1995 Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition for Contemporary Piano Music.


Corey Hamm's beloved teachers include pianists Dr. Stephane Lemelin, Dr. Ernesto Lejano, Thelma Johannes O'Neill, and Marek Jablonski, and he completed his Doctoral degree (Dissertation: György Ligeti's Piano Etudes: A Performer's Analysis) at the University of Minnesota in 2005 with Distinguished McKnight Professor Lydia Artymiw. He has performed in masterclasses for György Kurtag, Henri Dutilleux, Roger Muraro, Dominique Merlet, Paul Badura-Skoda, Eugene Istomin, Roger Woodward, Detlef Kraus, Hans Leygraf, Tatiana Nikolaeva, Gyorgy Sebok, Angela Cheng, Boris Berman, David Lively, Catherine Vickers, Noel Lee, Genevieve Joy, and Howard Shelley. Two consecutive scholarships from the Johann Strauss Foundation have taken Hamm to the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria for summer study with Claude Helffer, Sergio Perticaroli and Karl-Heinz Kammerling. During the summers of 1993 and 1994, Hamm studied in the French Piano Institute at the Ecole Normale in Paris where he was awarded a special prize for Excellence in Performance. There, he had the opportunity to perform the complete piano works of Henri Dutilleux for the composer himself and his wife, pianist Genevieve Joy. He was on the piano faculty of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music in Edmonton from 1994 to 2001, and is a frequent adjudicator in Canada, Asia, and the USA.

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