Hamm will perform Frederic Rzewski’s hour-long solo piano epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated! The work is a set of 36 variations on Sergio Ortega’s Chilean revolutionary song.
“It is a fascinating kaleidoscope of styles that makes its way to the end where it dizzyingly passes through all these styles again,” said Hamm. “The styles of course represent the many different peoples of the Earth and unites them in a modern piano masterpiece worthy of comparison with the great piano variation sets of Bach and Beethoven.”
Since 2008, when he organized a festival in celebration of Rzewski’s 70th birthday Hamm has given over 50 performances of The People United Will Never Be Defeated! Last summer he recorded the piece after working with Rzewski in Brussels. His performances with associated lectures and master classes have taken place in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, New York, Chicago, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Camrose, Brandon, Winnipeg, Guelph, London, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle and Minneapolis.
Hamm is an assistant professor of piano and chamber music at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He is director of the UBC Contemporary Players and joined the faculty of UBC in 2005. Hamm is also on the piano faculty of the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has also been a co-director of the Young Artists Experience in Vancouver.
Hamm has commissioned, premiered and recorded more than 100 solo, chamber and concerto works from such Canadian composers as Brian Cherney, Howard Bashaw, James Harley, Chris Paul Harman, Malcolm Forsyth and composers from all over the world.
During the 2012-13 season, Hamm will give world premieres of solo piano works written for him by Dorothy Chang, Keith Hamel, Bashaw and of chamber works written for The Nu:BC Collective by Keith Hamel, David Eagle, Scott Godin. It will also see the first of many world premieres of new works for erhu and piano written for him and virtuoso erhu player Nicole Li as they embark on an exciting cross-cultural commissioning project of many Chinese and Canadian composers before touring and recording the new works over the next two years in both Canada and China. Last month, Hamm will perform Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Music on Main All Stars in Vancouver.