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Ian Holtham

Melbourne Conservatorium Of Music
Piano Performance
melbourne recital centre
louis andriessen hout
metropolis festival
new music
elliot gyger
Ian Holtham's Profile Picture

Ian Holtham

Fine Arts And Music
Primary Interest
Classical music performance
Ian Holtham's Profile Picture

Ian Holtham


Professor Ian Holtham

BA(Hons) DipEd PhD (Melb) BMus (Hons) (Durham) Hon FMusA FTCL ARCM LRAM LGSM

Professor Ian Holtham is one of the most distinguished and highly regarded pianists and pedagogues in Australia and his performances of the great Classical and Romantic repertoire have played to packed houses and rave reviews for many years. He has led the Keyboard area at the University of Melbourne since 1998.

In 1999 he was invited to become the inaugural Head of Studies at the Australian National Academy of Music - a position he held for a year in addition to his position at the University of Melbourne.

Prof Holtham studied with Peter Feuchtwanger, Geza Anda, as well as with Geoffrey Parsons and Enrique Barenboim in Europe for over five years during the 1970s. He also studied Composition and Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music. He has performed throughout Europe, Asia and Australia and has broadcast regularly with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation since the late seventies appearing as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as well as with various orchestras and conductors over many years. He is one of Australia’s most senior pianists and has performed and given Masterclasses throughout Australia, Europe and Asia over the last three decades. Prof Holtham is a Steinway artist and established the Melbourne Conservatorium as the only institution of higher musical training in the Southern Hemisphere which is a Steinway School. He has been the Chair of the Australian Music Examinations Board in Victoria for most of this century, is the Chair of the national AMEB piano syllabus and served five terms as the elected Federal Chair of the AMEB.

Prof Holtham has published a seminal text on piano technique, and was piano adviser and contributor to the Oxford Companion to Australian Music. He has also been the Editor of the two editions of the AMEB Technical Work Book and has published articles on Music in the Australian Book Review. He has judged and often chaired virtually all the major musical awards and scholarships within Australia.

Since 1995 Ian Holtham has released a solo piano CD almost every year. His first, Etudes, contained the complete Etudes of Chopin, Opus 10 and Opus 25. This and his subsequent CDs which cover an enormous range of repertoire have all been received with wide critical acclaim. Amongst his recent CDs released through ABC Classics are Forest Scenes: the piano music of Robert Schumann and Beethoven: the last three Sonatas. This Sonatas on this CD were recorded on each of the three Melba Hall Steinways. In 2010 he released the Chopin Showcase CD through Move Records which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Ian Holtham’s recorded output includes the complete Chopin Etudes, Preludes, Ballades, Scherzi and Impromptus, providing a discography unique in Australian pianism. He retains a strong commitment to Australian music and no fewer than thirteen Australian composers have written work especially for him, recorded on his CDs Giants in the Land and Inspirations . Ian Holtham's study of the music of J S Bach has been lifelong and in 2017 he released a set of four CDs entitled Bach's Tonal Soundscape which contains the complete Well Tempered Clavier recorded by key, rather than by volume. This major recording project constitutes a new way of approaching one of the most iconic collections in the entire keyboard repertoire. In 2018 he was awarded the Honorary Fellowship in Music Australia for his distinguished and lengthy service to Music in Australia.

Scholarly Works

Displaying the 70 most recent scholarly works by Ian Holtham.

Honours, Awards and Fellowships


International Steinway Artist since 1999

Steinway Artist


HONFMUSA - Honorary Fellowship in Music Australia


FTCL - Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London






Melbourne Conservatorium Of Music


Doctor of Philosophy

University of Melbourne

Graduate Diploma in Education

University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Arts with honours

University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Music with honours

Durham University

Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Fellow of Trinity College London

Trinity College of Music

Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music

Royal Academy of Music

Associate of the Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music