Jennifer Hymer

Jennifer Hymer is a pianist as well as the artistic director of Non-Piano Toy Piano Weekend.

She received degrees in music from UC Berkeley and Mills College, studying with teachers such as Deno Gianopoulos, James Avery and Bernhard Wambach.

She is noted for her projects expanding the possibilities of piano playing by focusing on theatrical performance, extended techniques and the use of electronics as well being a toy pianist and performer of  the kalimba. She is the first performer to ever feature the kalimba as a solo instrument in a complete program of contemporary works. In her program Handscapes she commissioned new works for piano and multi-media from an international cast of women composers and for her piano duo project ‘Mantra Aftermaths’, she commissioned new works centering around Stockhausen’s masterpiece ‘Mantra’.

In 2014 she founded the annual Hamburg piano and toy piano festival Non-Piano/Toy Piano Weekend which enters its ninth season in Fall 2023. The festival is a platform for a group of specialized pianists who are able to perform seldom-heard, particularly virtuosic and unusual pieces, who can also perform on a variety of instruments and gadgets such as typewriters, melodicas, kalimbas, balloons, toy instruments.

She has had performances in countries around the world such as  Portugal, Budapest, Columbia, Mexico, Peru, Shanghai, Estonia and in festivals and events such as chiffren/Kiel, CCRMA at Stanford University, Ought-One Festival/Vermont, Elphilharmonie/Hamburg, Interpretation Series at Merkin Hall/New York, Music Academy Tallinn/, Bang on a Can Festival/New York, Tel Aviv Marathon, Roaring Hooves Festival/Mongolia , TPMC/Paris & Taiwan, Two Days & Two Nights Festival/Odessa, Klangwerktage/Hamburg, Lukas Ligeti Festival/New York, de Garden Festival/Rotterdam.

Numerous composers have written pieces especially for her or her ensembles such as Maria de Alvear, Sidney Corbett, Alvin Curran, Karlheinz Essl, Dror Feiler, Peter Hamel, Annie Gosfield, Matthias Kaul, Hanna Kulenty, Peter Köszeghy, Mauro Lanza, Sascha Lino Lemke, Lin-Ni LIAO, Lukas Ligeti, Annea Lockwood, Anthony De Ritis, Linda Marcel, Mats O Hansson, Oliver Schneller, Fabian Svensson, Manfred Stahnke, Steven Tanoto, Hans Tutschku and Steffen Wolf.

Her CD Ce n’est pas un piano features pieces by Tan Dun, Manfred Stahnke, Cathy Milliken, Annie Gosfield, Annea Lockwood and Sascha Lino Lemke. She is a member and musical director of the Hamburg branch of GEDOK, a German womens’ art organization.