Tim Hansen is a performer, composer, theatre-maker and teaching artist known for blending cabaret and theatrical idioms with contemporary concert music.
His work is an expression of his lifelong fascination with storytelling, be they grim fairy tales, ancient myths, or the everyday stories of the lives of those around him. He draws from a dark but gleeful palette inspired by sources as diverse as Weimar cabaret, circus music, 20th century modernism, music theatre and post-minimalism.
Tim grew up in Orange, New South Wales, and throughout his childhood was equally drawn to the theatre and music composition. Unsure what to pursue after finishing high school, he flipped a metaphoric coin and joined the BA (Communications) in Theatre/Media program at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, where he graduated with first class honours. Despite accruing a healthy HECS debt in the process, the lure of his other passion proved too strong and in 2006 he completed his BMus in Music Composition at Australia’s National University in Canberra. A few years later he moved to New York to undertake his MMus in Music Theory and Composition at New York University’s Steinhardt School. At present, this seems to be enough education for him.
Today his practice extends across both theatre-making and music composition, working comfortably in both disciplines. He composes contemporary music, music theatre, and music for film, as well as writing and performing cabaret, and the occasional acting stint. He is also a well-respected teaching artist, and currently is Composer in Residence at Santa Sabina College, a tutor at Australian Theatre for Young People, and a facilitating artist with Milk Crate Theatre.
In 2018 he was a finalist in the Vanda and Young Songwriting competition, one of 40 shortlisted artists from over four thousand entries. Residencies include being Artist in Residence at the Red Rattler Theatre, the New Musicals Australia program at the Hayes Theatre, composition fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, the Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival, the Avaloch New Music Institute, and twice artist-in-residence at Hill End, NSW.
Tim has worked extensively with music ensembles, cabaret groups and theatre companies around Australia and in the USA such as Enyato Duo, Duo Blockstix, the Hourglass Ensemble, the Song Company, Everyman Theatre, Centrepiece Theatre, Synergy Percussion, Contemporaneous, JACK quartet, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and TRANSIT ensemble.
Tim is an enthusiastic, dedicated and charismatic educator in the fields of both music composition and theatre-making. Aside from his present engagements, Tim has created two online lessons with TEDed on Music, and is a major contributor to SoundFly, a US-based website dedicated to the idea that anyone can be a musician. Tim has tutored for some of Australia’s leading youth arts organisations including Shopfront Youth Theatre, Canberra Youth Theatre, Music for Everyone, the NSW ArtsUnit, and Musica Viva’s Musician in the Classroom program, as well as the Lucy Moses School, Camp Broadway and The New Group in New York. From 2016 to 2018 he created and delivered a composition program to High School students in regional New South Wales in partnership with Macquarie Conservatorium in Dubbo.
He splits his time between Sydney where he works, and Carcoar in NSW’s Central West where he creates and looks at the stars.