Award-winning pianist Sally Whitwell maintains a busy freelance career as performer, conductor, composer and educator from her base in Sydney.
Sally has won two ARIA Awards for Best Classical Album: in 2013, for All Imperfect Things: Solo Piano Music of Michael Nyman, and in 2011, for her debut album Mad Rush: Solo Piano Music of Philip Glass. Her sophomore album The Good, the Bad and the Awkward is a truly unique compilation of film music where she plays not only piano but toy piano, harpsichord, recorder and melodica.
Recent solo concert appearances have included the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Complete Piano Etudes for the Perth International Arts Festival; further performances with Glass in Los Angeles and New York City; Ten Tiny Dancers, an all-singing-all-playing-all-dancing cabaret piano recital for the Famous Spiegeltent season at Arts Centre Melbourne; shows for the Adelaide Fringe Festival. As a vocal advocate for classical music by women composers, Sally was curator for a chamber music concert series in her home town Canberra: In Her Shoes featured music by women creatives across the centuries.
Sally’s other great love is choral music. She is a staff conductor and pianist for Gondwana Choirs and Sydney Children’s Choir, with whom she has performed throughout Australia and in Europe, Asia and the Americas. She has devised semi-theatrical choral shows for Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Bel A Cappella and Door in the Wall, and composed new works for (and with) Sydney Children’s Choir, Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, Woden Valley Youth Choir in the ACT and St Ursula’s College Toowoomba in Queensland; her choral music has been performed by Gondwana Choirs, Canberra Choral Society, Brisbane’s Birralee Voices, Moorambilla Voices, various ensembles from the Arts Unit of the NSW Department of Education, and Kompactus: Canberra’s Compact Chorus. She presented workshops on collaborative composition at the 2014 Queensland Choral Conference presented by Australian National Choral Association.
Currently, Sally is writing both libretto and music for her very first musical to be premiered in December 2015 by Sydney Philharmonia Choir's youth ensemble, VOX.