Image by Hannah Dingli
Nat Bartsch is a Melbourne-based pianist/composer who creates lyrical, ethereal work that crosses chamber jazz and postclassical genres.
After graduating from the VCA in music improvisation, Nat travelled to Europe in 2008 to study with ECM artists Tord Gustavsen and Nik Bärtsch (no relation) with the inaugural Lionel Gell Travelling Fellowship. This had a lasting impact on her aesthetic and direction. In 2010, Nat was awarded the Melbourne Prize for Music (Development Award), and was a 2010 Bell award finalist for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year.
In the early years of her performance career Nat was known for her work as bandleader of the Nat Bartsch Trio, which has performed across Australia, Japan and Europe, and released three critically acclaimed recordings. After putting the trio on hold at the end of 2014, Nat shifted her focus to creating works as a solo artist.
In 2017 Nat released her debut solo album Hometime, recorded on her own upright piano at home. In 2018 Nat released her acclaimed second solo release, Forever, and No Time At All: an album of lullabies influenced by music therapy research, intended to be relaxing for parents and babies. This album is used across Australia by parents from pregnancy, to birth, to the evening sleep routine, and enjoyed by non-parents alike. Both of these albums were produced by Nat’s friend and Melbourne piano luminary Luke Howard.
She has composed chamber music commissions for PLEXUS (Into the Light) and Solstice Trio (For Mary, Homecoming) and is looking forward to projects in 2020 that continue to blend her jazz background with a renewed interest in contemporary classical music.
Nat also plays with the Jazzlab Orcheztra, and indie, folk and postclassical artists such as Whitaker, Sweet Jean and Timothy Coghill. She has also played, toured and/or recorded with Thando, Matt Corby and Ella Thompson and Circus Oz.
Nat is also 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.