Co-Director UBC Contemporary Players
B.Mus (Alta.), M.Mus, DMA (Minn.)
Pianist Corey Hamm has established 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 TK431) 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 all over the world. 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 works for solo piano and chamber with piano in the near future. Among his other recording plans are CDs of solo works written for Corey by Michael Finnissy, Frederic Rzewski, John Psathas, Alice Pingyee Ho, Adam Zolty, Claude Lapalme, Keith Hamel, Jocelyn Morlock, Jordan Nobles, Dorothy Chang, Ronn Yedidia, and Duncan Maunders, and a CD with Nu:BC.
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, chamber music, and concerti.
His most extensive collection of commissioned works includes over 80 pieces for PEP (Piano and Erhu Project) with whom he has toured China. To date the composers for the project come from China, Canada, UK, and the United States, and include Michael Finnissy, GAO Ping, Brian Cherney, among many others. 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 to draw from for audiences of the 21st century. PEP has 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, and PEP won Ensemble of the Year at the 2021 WCMA.
Corey has also commissioned over 50 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), and as a founding member of Hammerhead Consort, he 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.”
Corey Hamm premiered Dorothy Chang’s PEP Double Concerto for erhu and piano soloists, Gateways, with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), and was soloist in the World Premiere of Jordan Nobles’ Piano Concerto with Bramwell Tovey and the VSO. 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 recent and upcoming performances of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto 3, Prokofiev Piano Concerto 2, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto 3, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2, Bartok’s Piano Concerto 2, Lutoslawski’s Piano Concerto, Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Faure’s Fantasie Op. 111, 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 (MFP) in Italy, and the Great Lakes International School of Music (GLISM). His beloved teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Marek Jablonski, Stéphane Lemelin, Ernesto Lejano, and Thelma Johannes O’Neill.
Dr. Hamm has given masterclasses, lectures, and recitals at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, NYU, New England Conservatory, Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, Carpi Music Festival, Beijing Capitol Normal University, Central Conservatory of China, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Wuhan University, Soochow Unversity, Washington University, Roosevelt University, McGill University, University of Toronto, Glenn Gould School, among many others.
Dr. Hamm’s students have won prizes at numerous international and national competitions including: 2022 Santander Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition (First Prize, Chamber Music prize, Audience Prize), 2022 Maria Canals International Piano Competition (First Prize, and Audience Prize), 2022 Hilton Head International Piano Competition (First Prize), 2018 Hilton Head International Junior Piano Competition (Second Prize, and prize for Best Classical Sonata Performance), Seattle International Piano Festival (Professional Prize, College Prize), 2021 Music as Architecture International Piano Competition (Grand Prize, Senior Prize, Classical Prize, Bach Prize, Chopin Prize), 2019 Stepping Stones Competition (First Prize), 2022 Shean Piano Competition (2022 First Prize, 2022 Second Prize, 2022/2018 Prize for Best Performance of the Required Work), Robert and Ellen Silverman Piano Concerto Competition (First Prize 2022, 2018), UBC multi-division Concerto Competition, 2015 National Music Competition (Grand Prize, and First Prize), 2015 RMTA National Competition (First Prize, Second Prize, Third Prize, and Prize for Best Performance of a Canadian Work), E-Gré Contemporay Music Competition . His students have been accepted for graduate and undergraduate studies at such prestigious institutions as Juilliard, Indiana University, NYU, Mannes, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman, Royal Academy of Music, Mozarteum, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Boston University, Berklee College, New England Conservatory, Glenn Gould School, McGill University, Hong Kong Baptist University, University of Toronto, University of Texas at Austin, among others.