Gemma Turvey


My Yamaha is my best friend, my confidant, my inspiration.


Biography

Gemma Turvey

Gemma Turvey is a pianist, composer and educator, passionate about restoring the art of improvisation in classical music and performance.

Gemma speaks regularly at conferences and workshops about improvisation pedagogy and practice. She has been guest teacher at Juilliard School of Music, a FABLE Teaching Fellow at University of Western Australia (UWA) and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the UWA Conservatorium of Music. She has also worked as teaching mentor with The Song Room in schools across metropolitan Melbourne, and delivered her own improvisation workshops in primary schools with inspiring results.

Gemma has performed nationally and internationally as a soloist, ensemble leader, and creative collaborator including with multi Grammy Award winning cellist Eugene Friesen, vocal ensemble The Consort of Melbourne, and singers Gorgi Coghlan, Katherine Norman, Kristin Berardi, Kate Miller-Heidke and Tina Arena. Gemma was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria to record a collection of solo piano works by Claude Terrasse, as part of the NGV 2023 Winter Masterpieces Exhibition of Pierre Bonnard.

Gemma was founder and artistic director of The New Palm Court Orchestra (NPCO) based in Melbourne, Australia from 2011–2019; an innovative cross-genre chamber ensemble bringing together some of city’s brightest improvising and chamber musicians. Together the NPCO enjoyed repeat standout performances at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House, and Federation Square (Melbourne), as well as collaborations with the Piano Project, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival and MPavillion Melbourne.

Gemma was a recipient of the Melbourne-Boston Sister Cities Hugh Rogers’ Fellowship for Arts & Culture and is an MBSCA ambassador. She has been Artist in Residence at Bundanon, Fabrica Institute (Italy) and Prelude Composer in Residence at Gallop House, Perth: a six-month artist residency supported and administered by Bundanon Trust and the National Trust of WA.

Gemma has released four studio recordings of her compositions and arrangements including two with the NPCO. She has also composed for television, short film, independent theatre, public installation and private commissions.

Gemma is currently serving as a Director of the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers’ House Trust and is Secretary of the Musicological Society of Australia WA Chapter.

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