I am a multidisciplinary musician who works as a cellist, composer, creative producer and educator. I am passionate about creating new work with artists and communities that tell vital, current and courageous stories and work to empower people through collaborative creation.
Hilary enjoys playing cello in live and recorded performance, working as a freelance musician for leading ensembles, orchestras and contemporary music & jazz artists. A versatile performer, equally at home playing in contemporary and jazz contexts, playing baroque cello with period specialist chamber ensembles and also on amplified cello with experimental and improvising ensembles. She often works in theatre and dance, where her roles have included composer, sound designer, performer and musical director for productions including Restless Dance Theatre’s ‘Seeing Through Darkness’ (2020) & 'Next of Kin' (2010), State Theatre Company South Australia’s ‘Gods of Strangers’ (2018), ‘Vale’ (2017) & 'Babyteeth' (2013) and Brink Productions ‘The Aspirations of Daise Morrow’ (2015) & 'Land & Sea' (2012).
For over 20 years Hilary was cellist with and Artistic Director of Zephyr Quartet - ‘Arguably Australia’s most lateral thinking and inventive ensemble’ (Music Australia) – an award-winning, bold and adventurous string quartet, delighting in the exploration of diverse music and forging dynamic collaborations. With ZQ she has been invited to perform in festivals in Australia and overseas, has performed with leading musicians and bands, has had much experience in playing and commissioning contemporary music and also in producing and curating complex multi-artform collaborations. Zephyr Quartet has released several albums of original music, enjoys air time on radio in Australia and abroad and has won several awards including the APRA / AMCOS Art Music ‘Award for Excellence by an Organisation’ in 2019, Ruby Awards for 'Innovation' in 2007 and 2014 and the UNESCO: City of Music award for 'Best International Collaboration' in 2018.
Compositionally Hilary is fascinated by exploring the human condition, our place within the natural world and our connection to it and each other. She often uses found sounds, images and media as inspiration as both a starting point and within her music and seeks to incorporate other people's voices in her work in various ways.
Hilary’s compositions are played by young people and professional ensembles, with works being commissioned / performed by ensembles such as the Muses Trio, Clocked Out, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Chamber Singers and the Adelaide Youth Orchestras. In 2020 she was invited to undertake the Summers Night Project, working together with Decibel Ensemble and Soundstream New Music, and in 2018 she was COMA’s (Creative Original Music Adelaide) Featured Composer. Recently she has led collaborative composition projects for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra working together with school and community groups in the projects 'Floods of Fire' (2020) and 'Silos & Symphonies' (2019).
The Lost Art of Listening is Hilary's current major research, development and composition project, a performance piece for prepared piano and audience-played smartphone choir which investigates listening and how people experience and value music in an age of 24-hour connectedness and distraction. Working together with pianist Erik Grisworld and creative coder Steve Berrick, this ambitious project also involves the development and creation of a purpose-built smartphone choir app UNiTE. It has been supported by organisations such as Vitalstatistix, Adelaide Festival Centre, Arts South Australia, Australia Council for the Arts, UKARIA and Camber Made, and is due for premiere in 2022.
Hilary believes that access to the arts and a quality arts education should be available to all people. She is often invited to be a guest artist and educator at schools, universities and organisations and enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities, seeking to empower them through collaborative creativity. She is currently Co-Director of Strings at St Peter's Girl's School and maintains a home teaching studio.
In 2019 Hilary was a lead Teaching Artist for Connecting the Dots in Music’s Ruby Award winning Lullaby Project Australia where she worked with mothers from southern Adelaide to create a personal lullaby for their child. She has since gone on to join Founder Emily Gann, working together as Co-Director of Connecting the Dots in Music, working in business development and project management.
Hilary is the Creative Producer of Musica Viva’s Sessions Concert Series in Adelaide. She served on the New Music Network Australia board from 2016-2019 and the Artistic Advisory panel of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2019, and facilitated the establishment of COMA (Creative Original Music Adelaide) in 2005, serving as its Artistic Director from 2005-2007.
Hilary is currently a member of the Global Leaders Program 2021 Cohort and undertaking a Master of Teaching through Deakin University.