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Nat Bartsch : Associate Artist

I love existing in the space between genres, creating ethereal, soothing music for these unprecedented times.

Random Audio Sample: Lights and Shadows (celeste with piano) by Nat Bartsch, from the CD Forever More

Photo of Nat Bartsch

Photo: Brett Scapin

Artist website: https://natbartsch.com/

Nat Bartsch is a pianist and composer who creates lyrical, meditative work that explores the space between classical and jazz genres. She has released six recordings of original music (including three for ABC Classic/Jazz), toured domestically and internationally, and written commissions for some of Australia's leading chamber music ensembles.

Nat graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts/University of Melbourne in 2007 and Honours in 2012 in music performance (improvisation).

Nat's career began as bandleader/composer for the jazz ensemble Nat Bartsch Trio, influenced by Scandinavian and Australian jazz and studies with Tord Gustavsen and Nik Bärtsch (no relation). They released their Springs, for all the Winters album on Rufus/ABC Jazz in 2010, and To Sail, To Sing independently in 2012. Her trio toured Japan twice, and performed in Europe supporting Abdullah Ibrahim's Ekaya in 2012.

In 2014 Nat shifted away from jazz and focussed on the creation of solo piano and chamber music works, drawing more upon neoclassical and neo-romantic influences. A developing friendship/collaboration with fellow pianist Luke Howard led to the creation of her debut solo album, Hometime in 2017 (who has since produced Nat's other classical releases).

Nat has become most well known for her lullabies, which, during early motherhood, saw her translate her gentle aesthetic into music with purpose. Nat created a suite of pieces designed to soothe babies to sleep (influenced by music therapy), but also be meaningfully enjoyable for adults. The resulting album, Forever, and No Time At All was released in 2018 on ABC Classic, with a jazz sextet re-interpretation, Forever More, released in 2020. This music is played regularly by Australian families, but also by people from all walks of life, supporting women in labour, people with mental illness, autism and grief.

Nat has composed chamber music commissions for Plexus Collective, Solstice Trio, Matt Withers/Sally Whitwell and The Muses Trio. She is currently studying a Masters of Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

Nat was the recipient of the 2020 Catherine Mary Sullivan scholarship, 2020 Classical:NEXT Artistic Associate fellowship, 2019 Johnny Dennis Music Award, 2010 Melbourne Prize for Music Development Award and the 2007 Lionel Gell Travelling Fellowship.

She has also performed with artists in many contemporary genres as a pianist/keyboardist, including Whitaker, Thando, Timothy Coghill, Sweet Jean, Matt Corby and Circus Oz. Alongside her music career, Nat is a mental health advocate, with a specific interest in promoting the health and wellbeing of performing artists. Nat has undertaken research exploring the two-way link between bipolar disorder and creativity which has been presented at a variety of conferences.

Nat is endorsed by Yamaha Pianos.

Nat Bartsch — current to August 2020

Studied with

Andrea Keller (2005 - 2006)

Tony Gould (2006 - 2007)

Paul Grabowsky (2007)

Nik Bärtsch (2008)

Tord Gustavsen (2008)

Tim Stevens (2012)

Stuart Greenbaum (2019 - current)

Miriama Young (2020 - current)


Collaborated with

Luke Howard (2014 - current)


Teacher/Influence on

Robert McIntyre

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2023 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Jazz Winner Busy/Quiet
2010 Melbourne Prize for Music Winner - Development Award 2010

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Busy/Quiet : small jazz ensemble Commissioned for International Women's Day 2022
Haze for Days : piano trio (2020) Commissioned by ABC Fresh Start Fund.
Homecoming : piano trio (2019) Commissioned by Solstice Trio.
Into the Light : trio (2015) Commissioned by Plexus Ensemble.