Friday, May 07, 2004

Ambre Hammond

Playing the jam session at the Avillion Hotel last night we had an extraordinary guest. Classical pianist Ambre Hammond sat down and played Liszt's transcription of the Schumman song Widmung with a depth and resonance of touch that hushed the room. Later, after hours, when most of the punters had left Ambre and I played piano musical chairs. She continued to amaze the post-midnight die hards with excerpts from the Carl Vine piano sonata, Bach, the Scriabin C# minor etude and Rachmaninov and I did some extemporisations on classical themes. Then we played 4 hands. She did her Licentiate Diploma at 12, goodness me! I had heard about her from trumpeter James Morrison who tried to convince the Melbourne Symphony to extend their commission for me to write a concerto for James into a double concerto for James and Ambre. Anyway, as a result of last night today I'm sitting around in my pyjamas playing Schumann, Strauss and Scriabin - thanks for the inspiration Ambre.

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