Image by Hannah Dingli
Nat Bartsch is a Melbourne-based jazz and contemporary classical pianist/composer who has gained a reputation for creating contemplative, reflective music across a variety of genres.
In 2010 she was awarded the Melbourne Prize for Music Development Award, which cemented Nat’s reputation as an exciting new Australian artist. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (Honours) in music improvisation, she is best known for her work as pianist/composer for the Nat Bartsch Trio, which has performed across Australia, Japan and Europe, and released three critically acclaimed recordings. As a recipient of the inaugural Lionel Gell Travelling Scholarship, Nat travelled to Europe in 2008 to study with ECM artists Tord Gustavsen and Nik Bärtsch (no relation). She was also a 2010 Bell award finalist for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year.
After putting the trio on hold at the end of 2014, Nat shifted her focus to composition of chamber music and solo piano works. She began an ongoing collaboration with fellow pianist Luke Howard, co-producing the Festival of Beautiful Sound and the annual Piano Day Melbourne. In 2015, the PLEXUS Ensemble commissioned her work Into the Light as part of their MRC concert series, and in 2016 she completed a commission for the Solstice Trio, For Mary.
Nat recently released her debut solo album Hometime, co-produced with Luke and recorded on her own upright piano at home. Due to become a new mother, in 2018 she plans to compose and record a series of lullabies for babies in her signature style.
Nat also plays with indie, folk and postclassical artists such as Whitaker, Sweet Jean and Timothy Coghill. She has also played, toured and/or recorded with Matt Corby, Ella Thompson and Tom Tuena.
Nat is also a public policy student and 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.
Her approach unites lyrical beauty with unsentimental abstraction in a fascinating way.Tord Gustavsen
We are at a point where jazz can incorporate the crystalline, the pure and singing … This is exceptionally expressive, finely articulated playing.John Clare
Bartsch’s inherent lyricism was evident in beautifully melodic passagesRoger Mitchell