Vanessa is passionate about creating diverse soundscapes from the piano. She uses experiences from nature and the bird compositions of Oliver Messiaen and Don Kay to inspire improvisations in and around the piano. Performing her first piece with electronics during tertiary studies, Vanessa incorporates reverb and loops to create vast polyphonic soundscapes based on her own performance.
Vanessa studied piano from the age of 5 with celebrated Tasmanian piano teacher Eric Mitchell. During these years, Vanessa gave concerts around Tasmania and New Zealand and won many awards and accolades. She studied at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania under Geoffrey Lancaster and Beryl Sedivka and was awarded a Tasmanian Arts Advisory Council grant to study in Paris with renowned concert pianist Cecile Ousset. Vanessa was awarded University of Wollongong grants to study Olivier Messiaen’s piano works with his widow and concert pianist Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen. Vanessa was invited by Madame Loriod-Messiaen to perform at a Messiaen Music Festival in Paris and went on to lecture on Messiaen’s piano works at various institutions around Australia including presenting at the Australian National Piano Pedagogy Conference in 1999.
Vanessa has performed concerts throughout Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and France and has recorded with Australia’s leading classical music broadcasters. She has a particular interest in Australian contemporary music and has premiered works for solo piano as well as chamber groups, including music of Don Kay, Andrew Schultz, Richard Vella, Houston Dunleavy and Bruce Crossman. In 2010, Vanessa released a CD of the solo piano works of Don Kay, Bird Chants, produced by Belinda Webster on the Tall Poppies label. In 2021 Vanessa released a second CD of Don Kay music titled Blue Sky through Still Trees, also produced by Belinda Webster on the Tall Poppies Label. Vanessa is busy working on a third CD of Australian Composers Lullabies for Solo Piano, with many of the lullabies commissioned especially for the project. Vanessa is also Head of Piano at Wesley College, Melbourne.
- Co-ordinating courses at tertiary level, Music History, Aural Skills, Accompaniment and Performace
- Recording artist for ABC Classic FM
- Recording Artist and presenter for 3MBS Radio Station
- Recording Artist for Tall Poppies Record Label
- Teaching piano to all age groups, from beginner to advanced standards
- Teaching chamber music and accompanying skills, vocal coaching
- Performing solo piano and chamber music
- Teaching academic music subjects and aural skills
- Development of music curricula at HSC level for the Board of Studies, NSW.
- Collaborating with VCE students to present final recitals
- Academic administration (including working with management, staff and students, computer skills, report writing)
- Wesley of Warrugal Chamber music Series 2020
- Live piano performances on 3MBS Melbourne
- Blue Sky through Still Trees, solo piano music of Don Kay, Tall Poppies, 2021
- Bird Chants, solo piano music of Don Kay, Tall Poppies, 2010
1996 - 1998
- Study with Yvonne Loriod-Messian, Paris 1996 and 1998
- Study with Cecile Ousset, Paris 1994
- Special Mention, Shepparton Piano Competition 1992
- Extensive Performances and recordings with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and ABC FM
- Clarice Viney Memorial Prize for Best Pianist (UTas)
1995 - 1997
- Development of Curriculum for the NSW Board of Studies, Music HSC Level. 1995-97
- Dean’s Roll of Excellence (UTas)