January 04, 2012

Pianist Corey Hamm to perform, teach classes

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale welcomes pianist and new music specialist Corey Hamm to campus during the first week of the spring semester.

Hamm, assistant professor of piano and chamber music at the University of British Columbia, and director of the UCB Contemporary Players, will present a solo piano performance at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall on campus. 

The program features “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” a composition by contemporary musician and piano prodigy Frederic Rzewski. The work is a set of variations on a Chilean song, and, as the title implies, contains allusions to social struggles.  The work requires virtuosity, but also non-traditional elements such as slamming the piano lid and catching the resulting after-vibrations.

Besides his performance, Hamm will also work with students in a workshop and masterclass.  The workshop begins at 10 a.m. and runs until noon on Jan. 20 in Altgeld Hall, Room 110.

The masterclass is also from 10 a.m. until noon, and takes place on Jan. 21 in the Old Baptist Foundation Recital Hall. 

Hamm is internationally known and respected as a performer.  He has taken his performance of  “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” on the road with more than 20 performances, including venues in Hong Kong and Singapore, and venues in both the United States and Canada. 

He is active in the support of new music, and has played a role in the commissioning of at least 60 solo, chamber and concerto works.

As a teacher, Hamm is the 2008-09 recipient of the UBC Killam Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching.  He also joined The Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

The Student Fine Arts Activity Fee helped fund Hamm’s visit to SIU Carbondale.  All events are free and open to the public.  To join the workshop or masterclass, contact the School of Music at 618/536-8742.