Gina Ismene Chitty

Gina Ismene Chitty is an Australian pianist-composer of piano, voice, ensemble and orchestral works. She writes in a variety of styles, composes instantaneously in her mind, and sometimes at the piano.

She has a Ph.D. in Contemporary Music from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and a B.Mus. majoring in Piano Performance from George Washington University, USA.  She as a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, London, and has a Licentiate from the Royal Schools of Music.

Gina has been the finalist in several piano concerto competitions and the winner of a Tchaikovsky piano competition held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The latter competition won her a place at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory of Music. However, a family diplomatic appointment took her to Washington DC, USA, instead, where she graduated in music at the George Washington University and had several concerts and performances of her compositions. She has had solo performances in many countries, performing the concerti of Rachmaninoff, Liszt and Beethoven.

Her compositions have been performed in Australia, Germany, India, Sri Lanka and the United States.

Gina is the author of Public Postures, Private Positions - an ethnomusicological discussion of a hybrid cultural form of Afro-Lusitanian music.

She revived her passion for composition again more recently and began to write a genre of music that transcended existing classified boundaries - in the merger of Baroque music with Asian and Arabian music. Gina enjoys synthesizing contrapuntal textures drawing on dissimilar genres of music such as Western Baroque music and Middle Eastern music or by weaving Baroque motifs with strands of Asian music. The meshed-in baroque motifs, harmonies and flourishes, while reminiscent of the practices in the Baroque era, are entirely her own inventions; so are the Arabian melodies. None are derived from existing folk melodies or extant popular music.

Gina fancies herself to be a time traveller as she thinks and writes easily in neo-Baroque mode, that has been a puzzling phenomenon for her. She often constructs works, reminiscent of Baroque composers but in a new space, with diverse and differing harmonic movements and motifs. She also loves to generate and intertwine her pseudo Baroque strands with music composed in a Spanish folk idiom. Often she juxtaposes the Spanish idiom with music of mediaeval tradition, with the strains of a mediaeval Jongleur’s music mingling in with her Flamenco dances.

In a lighter vein, Gina likes to write whimsical “Jazzical” interludes and has a collection of works that she calls “A Jazzical Insouciance”. The “Jazzical Insouciance” is comprised of Jazz rhythms, harmonies and riffs encapsulated in more traditional Classical and Contemporary Classical forms, perhaps a creation of a new genre of Australian Jazz music.

Gina is also an artist, painting in acrylics, pastels and oils, a writer and poet.

Read more about Gina with this wonderful interview with Interlude:

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