Dr Olivia Sham is a concert pianist, teacher and scholar. She performs on both modern and historical pianos, with a particular interest in nineteenth-century historical instruments and repertoire.
Born in Australia, Olivia completed a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (University of Sydney) on a scholarship of Outstanding Academic Achievement and Merit, and graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal. She was then awarded a full scholarship from the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she completed a Master of Music with Professor Christopher Elton and graduated with Distinction. Following this, she completed a doctorate on Liszt performance at the Royal Academy of Music, with the support of an Overseas Research Award.
Olivia has won numerous prizes and awards, including keyboard winner of the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year, and has performed concertos with orchestras internationally. She was a Making Music Philip & Dorothy Green Young Concert Artist (2013), and regularly performs for Weltklassik in Germany and Switzerland. Olivia is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music. An active recitalist and chamber musician on both modern and historical instruments, her performance interests have taken her to museums and collections of musical instruments all over Europe and the UK. As an AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) Cultural Engagement Fellow, Olivia directed an international conference-festival (“The Historical Pianist”) at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Cobbe Collection in 2016. Her debut album, Liszt and the Art of Remembering, was released by Avie Records in November 2015 to critical acclaim.
Olivia has extensive experience teaching piano to children and adults. She taught undergraduate music students at King’s College London for several years, and now teaches the piano at St Paul’s School. In 2017, Olivia was named an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.