‘I’m on a good path’: Nat Bartsch is Melbourne Recital Centre’s new artist-in-residence

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‘I’m on a good path’: Nat Bartsch is Melbourne Recital Centre’s new artist-in-residence

Nat Bartsch
Words by Staff Writer

Double-ARIA-nominated pianist and composer Nat Bartsch has been announced as Melbourne Recital Centre’s new Artist-in-Residence.

In this year-long role, the proudly neurodivergent artist plans to embark on several cross-genre projects and champion neurodiversity in music.

Nat Bartsch’s ethereal and meditative music defies conventions, traversing jazz, neoclassical, classical and children’s genres, drawing influence from artists including Nils Frahm and Debussy. Her compositions have reached people all over the world and are played by people from all walks of life, often in profoundly personal moments – from the birthing suite to the final hours before death.

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To date, Bartsch’s career has spanned eight studio albums, domestic and international tours, as well as the recent establishment of her own record label, Amica Records. A Melbourne-based artist, she is best known for her 2018 lullaby album Forever, and No Time At All and her ARIA-nominated response to the challenges of 2020, Hope. Bartsch’s inimitable jazz re-interpretations of these albums, Forever More and Hope Renewed, have received wide acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

Diagnosed with ADHD and autism as an adult, Bartsch attributes the development of her unique tender and emotional piano style – which she has termed ‘kind music’ – to her individual sensory needs. As the 2024 Artist-in-Residence, she aspires to advance her mission of promoting neurodiversity in music, aiming to reduce stigma and support artists and audiences of all needs and abilities.

Bartsch said she was deeply honoured to have been selected Artist-in-Residence and recognised for her progressive career as a self-managed, independent classical jazz artist.

“This recognition is a welcome reminder that I’m on a good path, and that what I’m doing is meaningful to others,” she said.

“Although I’ve faced many challenges, I now see my neurodiversity as one of my greatest strengths, and I look forward to using the residency as a platform to start conversations about how we can better support and celebrate neurodivergent artists and audiences”.

Bartsch’s plans for the residency will be announced throughout 2024 and her ambitious vision includes inclusive performances catering to specific sensory preferences, a podcast celebrating neurodiversity in music, launching her next lullaby album, and collaborations with contemporary and jazz artists.

Melbourne Recital Centre’s Director of Programming Marshall McGuire said: “Each year, we’re proud to present the Artist-in-Residence program as one of the many ways Melbourne Recital Centre supports exceptional Australian artists. We look forward to working with Nat in 2024 to help bring even more of her innovative ideas to life.”

Launched in 2017, Melbourne Recital Centre’s Artist-in-Residence program is a key part of the Centre’s commitment to supporting innovation and inclusion in music.

For further information, visit the website here.