Co-Director UBC Contemporary Players
B.Mus (Alta.), M.Mus, DMA (Minn.)
Pianist Corey Hamm is establishing a unique musical profile performing widely in North America and in Asia as both soloist and chamber musician. His CD of Frederic Rzewski’s hour-long solo piano epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Redshift Records) won Spotify’s Best Classical Recording 2014, and Best Classical Recording at the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards. He has performed the work over 80 times, most recently pre-COVID 19 in a tour of China (Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Nanxing, Hong Kong, etc.) in Nov. 2018. Corey Hamm’s extensive work in the 1990s with the great French composer Henri Dutilleux will come to fruition in his plan to record Dutilleux’s complete solo piano and chamber works in the near future. Among his other recording plans is a soon-to-be-released CD of solo works written for him by Keith Hamel, Jocelyn Morlock, Jordan Nobles, Dorothy Chang, and Scott Godin. He performs on Jocelyn Morlock’s CD Halcyon on Centrediscs.
Corey Hamm has commissioned, premiered and recorded over four hundred works by composers from all over the world. These commissions have been for solo piano, various chamber music formations as well as concerti by Dorothy Chang, Howard Bashaw, Aaron Gervais, and Jordan Nobles.
Over the pandemic many composers wrote solo works for Corey which he is now excited to tour and record. These composers include Frederic Rzewski, Michael Finnissy, Alice Pingyee Ho, John Psathas, Ronn Yedidia, Adam Zolty, Claude Lapalme, Lucas Oickle.
His most extensive collection of commissioned works includes over 80 pieces for PEP (Piano and Erhu Project), most recently from Michael Finnissy and GAO Ping, and ten composers through an exciting collaboration with CMC and the Eliot Weisgarber workshop. The result is a new and flourishing catalogue of works for piano and erhu composed in the musical languages of the 21st century. This combination of instruments bringing together two of the world’s great musical traditions, now has a unique collection of works for Nicole Ge Li and Corey Hamm to draw from for audiences of the 21st century. They have released some of these works on their PEP CDs, Vols. 1, 2, and 3 (Redshift TK437, TK440, TK474). Volume 2 was nominated for Best Classical Recording at the 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA), and Volume 3 was nominated for Best Classical Artist at WCMA 2021.
WATCH: Corey Hamm plays Henri Dutilleux’s Prelude en Berceuse (from Au Gre des Ondes) as his first encore after his concert at Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA) Dec. 4, 2018.
He has also commissioned over 70 works for The Nu:BC Collective and for Hammerhead Consort (two piano and two percussion). As pianist for The Nu:BC Collective he has released the critically acclaimed CD Beyond Shadows (Redshift TK432). As a founding member of Hammerhead Consort, he released three CDs on Arktos Recordings and CBC, and received the 1993 Sir Ernest Macmillan Memorial Foundation Chamber Music Award, and was winner of the 1992 National Chamber Music Competition.
In recent years, Corey Hamm has studied, recorded and toured one of the great piano works of the last decades, Frederic Rzewski’s monumental hour-long solo piano epic, The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Redshift TK431). This work, made up of a theme and 36 variations, has been recorded by a small number of pianists including Marc-André Hamelin, Ursula Oppens, and Stephen Drury. Frederic Rzewski received Corey Hamm’s interpretation as one of the finest to date. “Excellent! Bravo! This may be the best recording.”
Recent and upcoming concerto performances include Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto 3, Prokofiev Piano Concerto 2, Lutoslawski Piano Concerto, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 3, Bartok Piano Concerto 2, and the world premiere of Dorothy Chang’s new PEP Double Concerto for erhu and piano soloists. Corey Hamm was soloist in the World Premiere of Jordan Nobles’ Piano Concerto with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He gave the World Premiere of Howard Bashaw’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion with conductor Grzegorz Nowak and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and has recently performed Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Faure’s Fantasie, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Dr. Hamm is Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he was awarded the prestigious Killam Teaching Award, and the Dorothy Somerset Award for Artistic Excellence. He is on the Piano Faculty of the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) at the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston, MusicFest Perugia in Italy, CASSA Musical Arts in Calgary, and the Great Lakes International School of Music (GLSM). His students have won top prizes at the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Canadian National Music Competition, Eckhardt-Gramatté Contemporary Piano Competition, Stepping Stones Competition, Canadian Music Competition, and have been accepted to such prestigious music schools as Juilliard, Eastman, Boston University, Royal College of Music, Berklee, The Glenn Gould School, San Francisco Conservatory, among others. His beloved teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Marek Jablonski, Stéphane Lemelin, Ernesto Lejano, and Thelma Johannes O’Neill.