Josh Hooke 25 years old from Victoria

When asked what drew him to becoming a musician, he says "It’s something difficult to articulate. It’s just always felt like the right thing to do for me. There hasn’t been a question about it really".

Josh Hooke

Do you still study & where – when will you finish? I just began a PhD at the University of Melbourne. It’s about a 3-4 year degree.

Are you a full-time professional musician? I guess it depends on how you define it. I am making a living through giving concerts, as well as some teaching and accompanying work, and through the help of scholarships.

Do you sometimes perform in an ensemble? I perform in a number of groups, nothing regular though. It’s always good to make music with someone else.

What is so special about the piano and its music? The breadth of repertoire, the expressive and sonic potential… the list is really endless.

What else can you play? I learned the trombone and drums during school, I don’t really play them anymore, and I never really played either of them well!

Do you sing? I think every musician sings at some point. I don’t sing well though!

What are your hobbies and why are you passionate about them? I enjoy running, cycling, hiking. Anything that gets me outside and away from the practice room. It just feels good for the brain.

Do you do a lot of travel?  Where have you been overseas in the past few years? I’ve been mainly to Europe and the UK in the past few years, for concerts, lessons and general sightseeing.

What are your goals over the next two years? To keep studying, practise hard, and work well. No real tangible goals beyond that I guess.

Who inspires you and why? I always find it helpful to explore other artistic disciplines for inspiration. Painters and filmmakers etc. inspire me. There is a commitment in some of them that is totally unshakeable.

Which musician inspires you any why?  I really admire musicians who think outside the box when it comes to how they present their work. Someone like Richard Tognetti, for instance, who is continually finding ways of bringing classical music to new audiences, without compromising any sense of artistic integrity.

Which composer’s music do you love and why? I feel pretty close to that Austro-Germanic repertoire of the early 1800’, so Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms etc. Just something about how they put their own experience of the world into music. It’s hard to articulate.

Do you play sports? I used to play Basketball mainly, a bit of footy etc, but had to stop because I was hurting my fingers.

Name 4 of your favourite things to do to chill out/have fun: Spend time with friends; Get outside; Go to a gig; Watch a film

What’s your idea of fashion/what do you prefer to wear? Fairly simple I suppose. I don’t really have much of an idea! Op shopping is always fun.

What car do you drive (give a description of it).  do you have a current drivers licence? I don’t have a car, I do have a drivers licence, however!

How do you relax and unwind from rehearsing? I find it most helpful to schedule when I am and am not practising, and really try to stick to it. That way when the time is up it helps to stop thinking about it.

How do you care for your back etc. (to stop injuries etc)? I haven’t really had too many problems with these things. I practise with a chair that has a back on it and it seems to do the trick.

Do you love the movies? Always a treat to go the pictures!

List at least three bars / favourite spaces to hang out in Australia and why? You’re pretty spoiled for choice in Melbourne, so hard to pick just three. Sitting out in a park with a beer on a summer’s afternoon/evening is pretty hard to beat though.

What is your favourite alcoholic drink? I’ve been trying to get into wine lately, although I really don’t know what I’m talking about!

Favourite meal / food / fruit and why? It all depends on the company. An ordinary meal with friends is better than experiencing the finest gastronomical event alone

Do you compose your own music?  I have composed, not well at all though. I don’t think I even have copies of my compositions

What do you hope to get out of this Australian National Piano Award? The opportunity to perform and meet new people!

How long have you been rehearsing for this event? Since May

How did you hear about the Australian National Piano Award? Through ABC classic FM.

Your website/Tube clips of your performances?: