Award-winning and versatile musician, Nicole Canham (clarinet and tarogato) is committed to creating transformative arts experiences, and to building new audiences for live music. Her expansive and unique artistic practice reflects her diverse creative interests which include the commissioning new music, chamber music performance, collaborations with a range of artists from outside the world of music including theatre, film, photography, visual art and dance and arts advocacy. Nicole has performed at festivals around Australia including the Castlemaine State Festival, Four Winds and the Canberra International Music Festival, in national broadcasts for ABC Classic FM and overseas in France, Germany, the UK, USA, Mexico and Belgium. Her discography includes recordings for Move Records, ABC Classics, The Anthology of Australian Music and Tall Poppies. During her term as Artistic Director of the Canberra International Music Festival (2005 - 2008), Nicole achieved a ten-fold increase in attendance through her innovative approach to programming and highly successful audience development initiatives. More recent projects include: an international collaborative project called Hourglass, working with a team of Mexican and Australian composers, video and installation artists; participation in Chamber Made Opera’s iPad version of Helen Gifford’s Exile; and a tarogato commissioning project which included concert performances with Claude Delangle. Nicole’s commitment to the commissioning and performance of new Australian music was recognised in 2013 with an Australian Art Music State Award. Nicole is a specialist Music Australia Councillor, focused on advocacy for the independent and small to medium music sector. She has just completed a PhD at the University of Queensland on career pathways of independent, classically trained musicians.
Clarinettist, tarogato player and Churchill Fellow, Nicole Canham, works in mainstream classical performance specialising in chamber music, and collaborates with a range of artists from outside the world of music – theatre, film, photography, visual art and dance – exploring connections between artists, approaches to art making, and audiences. Recent work has included performances at the Canberra International Music Festival and for the University of Queensland School of Music, participation in Chamber Made Opera’s performance and recording of Helen Gifford’s Exile, launched as an i-pad application, and residencies with new media artist Sarah Kaur at Punctum Live Arts, Victoria and the Mexican National Centre for New Music and Sonic Arts, and dancer/choreographer Nerida Matthaei at the Firkin Crane, Ireland. Engagements since 2010 have included concerts with Claude Delangle for Henri Selmer, Paris and the 22nd European University of the Saxophone in Gap, France, performances at the UNAM Escuela Nacional de Musica Clarinet Festival, the 12 Nights Festival of electro-acoustic music, Miami, the Visiones Sonoras Festival, Mexico, the Australian Clarinet and Saxophone Festival, the 19th Rencontre des Saxophones, Strasbourg, France and performances of a new music and contemporary dance work called Don’ts for Dancers with seasons in Canberra, Brisbane and Cairns. In late 2012, Nicole curated and performed in an international collaborative project called Hourglass, working with a team of Mexican and Australian composers, video and installation artists. With the company Polyartistry she has devised and delivered projects in partnership with Opera Australia, which included collaborations with Bobby Singh, tabla, Sarangan Sriranganathan, sitar, DJ JayTee, Soulbeats and well known hip hop artist and producer Morganics (http://www.youtube.com/user/polyopera), and the Historic Houses Trust.
Nicole has collaborated with a number of Australia's high profile composers, regularly performing works written for her by Elena Kats-Chernin, Ian Blake, Nick Tsiavos, Tim Hansen and Drew Crawford. Her repertoire of Australian works also includes pieces by Karlin Love, Paul Stanhope, Margaret Sutherland, John Carmichael, Arthur Benjamin, Colin Brumby, Matthew Hindson, Brigid Burke, Mitchell Mollison, Robert Davidson, Richard Vella, Miriam Hyde, Ross Edwards and Peter Sculthorpe.
After completing a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance at the Australian National University School of Music, Nicole undertook post graduate study with renowned French clarinettist Philippe Cuper at the CNR de Versailles, obtaining her Prix de Perfectionnement and returning to Australia in 2003. Specialising in chamber music performance and presentation, Nicole has performed at festivals around Australia, including The Castlemaine State Festival, Four Winds, The Camden Haven Festival, The Adelaide Fringe Festival, The Darwin Youth Festival and the National Folk Festival. As a founding member of the quartet Clarity, Nicole performed internationally throughout Belgium, France and the UK, making their international debut at St-Martin-in-the-Fields. Her diverse musical interests and commitment to expanding the audience for classical music in Australia have seen her work as a professional musician in the mainstream with orchestras including the Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, Canberra Symphony and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and also more widely in new music and improvisation. As a teacher and clinician, Nicole has presented guest lectures, masterclasses and concerts for the University of Queensland, Monash University, The Mexican National Centre for New Music and Sonic Arts (CMMAS, Mexico), The Conservatorio de las Rosas (Morelia, Mexico), Escuela Nacional de Musica, UNAM (Mexico City), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, Canberra Boys Grammar School, MLC Burwood, Kincoppal Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, Scotch College, Xavier College, Santa Maria College, Geelong Grammar. She has performed in live broadcast performances for ABC Classic FM’s Sunday Live Program in Canberra and Melbourne. Nicole’s discography includes recordings for The Anthology of Australian Music, and the Tall Poppies and Move labels. She has been a Move Records artist since 2005. Nicole is based in Melbourne, Australia.