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Personal profile


Churchill Fellow, Nicole Canham (clarinet and tarogato), is an award-winning and versatile musician who is committed to creating transformative arts experiences, and to building new audiences for art 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, Canberra International Music Festival, and overseas in France (Concerts a la Fontaine, Paris, Université Européenne de Saxophone, Gap, Rencontres de Saxophone, Strasbourg), Germany, the UK, USA, Mexico (Visiones Sonoras, the Morelia International Film Festival ) and Belgium (Jeunesses Musicales). 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 saxophonist Claude Delangle (Paris Conservatoire) and Philippe Geiss (Conservatoire du Strasbourg).  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, and the Historic Houses Trust (now Sydney Living Museums).

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, Karlin Love and Drew Crawford. Her repertoire of Australian works also includes music by Paul Stanhope, Margaret Sutherland, John Carmichael, Arthur Benjamin, Colin Brumby, Matthew Hindson, Robert Davidson, Richard Vella, Miriam Hyde and Ross Edwards.  Nicole’s commitment to the commissioning and performance of new Australian music was recognised in 2013 with an Australian Art Music State Award.

In 2020, Nicole joined the faculty of the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University as Wind Program Coordinator.  In this role, she focuses on performance, teaching and scholarship, which has become an integral aspect of her artistic practice.  Nicole completed a PhD on the career pathways of independent, classically trained musicians in 2016, and has presented her research at leading conferences around the world.  Nicole is a qualified career development practitioner, completing a Graduate Diploma of Career Education and Development through RMIT in 2019.  She is currently writing a book on transformational approaches to musicians’ career development to be published by Routledge in 2020.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or