Fiona Joy Hawkins

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Fiona Joy Hawkins
Photograph by Robert McKell
Background information
Born Cessnock, New South Wales, Australia
Genres Classical, jazz, new-age
Occupation(s) Composer, recording artist, Music producer
Instruments Piano and Vocalist
Labels Little Hartley Music and Blue Coast Records

Fiona Joy Hawkins is an Australian composer, vocalist, and pianist, who uses the stage-name Fiona Joy.[1] She was born in Cessnock, New South Wales, to a creative family,[2] and trained as a classical pianist.[3]

Early life

Hawkins was born in Cessnock, New South Wales and raised in both Newcastle and Tamworth.[4] She first began to study the piano at a young age, composing short pieces for the piano before she was a teenager. She trained at the Tamworth Conservatorium of Music under tutor Ursula Bakker, where she showed early signs of musical talent.[5] Her early music teachers included Es Clarke, Ursula Bakker, and Maureen Newell.[6]

Artistic career

Musical career

Her first album, Portrait of a Waterfall, charted at #1 on the New Age Reporter (NAR) World Charts in 2005.[7][8] Her classical release, Angel Above My Piano, earned the NAR Lifestyle Music Award for Best Piano Album of the Year for 2006.[9] She has been a finalist multiple times in both the Musicoz Awards in the jazz and classical categories,[10][11] and the Los Angeles Music Awards in the New Age/Ambient Instrumental category.[12] She has also been interviewed regarding trends in the use of high end pianos and the potential changes new instruments make to a musician's compositions.[13]

Her collaborations have included an album with Will Ackerman as producer. Her influences include George Winston, Michael Nyman, Chopin, and Mendelssohn.[14][15] The Sydney Morning Herald said of her in 2007 that she "ranks among the world's best in her genre, but struggles for recognition in her home country" of Australia, largely due to the lack of recognition given to the genre by Australian music critics until she won the 2006 ZMR award. Hawkins is the first Australian to ever chart in the top ten on the ZMR chart and the first to ever win a ZMR award.[16]

In 2008 Hawkins was the 2008 MusicOz winner for Best Jazz or Classical Artist.[17] In 2009 she was again recognized, becoming the winner of the Album Of The Year, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, and Best Instrumental Album - Piano Zone Music Reporter awards for her album Blue Dream.[18] The album was also a finalist for an ARIA award.[4] In 2013 Hawkins was a finalist in the Best Live Performance, Best New Age Album, and Best New Age Song categories at the Independent Music Awards.[19]

Her 2013 album 600 Years in a Moment draws on Celtic music from her family traditions as well as vocal and instrumental performances representing Mongolia, Hungary, China, Africa, Tibet, Ireland, the Middle East, Native America centered around her playing on a 102-key Stuart and Sons piano, being recorded in Newcastle (Australia), at Imaginary Road Studios (Vermont), Los Angeles, New York, Bremen and Portland (Maine), and Halifax (Canada). Featured musicians include cellist Eugene Friesen (Paul Winter Consort), bassist Tony Levin (Paul McCartney and Peter Gabriel), drummer Jeff Haynes (Pat Metheney) and violinist Charlie Bisharat (Yanni), violinist/vocalist Rebecca Daniel (Australian Chamber Orchestra) as well as guitarists Will Ackerman and Todd Boston.[20] The album was awarded the Best Instrumental Album - Piano at the 2013 ZMR Music Awards.[21] In 2014 Hawkins co-produced the Jennifer Defrayne album By A Wire with Ackerman, also serving as a pianist for the work in addition to author for quotations used during some of the music.[22] In 2014 her song Grace appeared on the compilation album Winds of Samsara,[23] which reached the number one spot on the Billboard New Age albums list.[24] In 2015 the album won the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.[25][26]

She writes and performs on a Stuart & Sons piano.[27] During tours of China, Joy was labeled the "Piano Angel" and reviews called her one of the best of the next generation of great piano artists.[28][29]

Painting career

Hawkins is a painter whose works have been exhibited at the Butterflies Gallery in Pokolbin as well as internationally.[16]


  • Portrait of a Waterfall (2005)
  • Angel Above My Piano (2006)
  • ICE - Piano Slightly Chilled (2008)
  • Blue Dream (2008)
  • Blue Dream (2009) SACD produced Will Ackerman & Corin Nelsen
  • Music for Massage (Compilation) (2010)
  • Christmas Joy (2011)
  • LIVE at the Q with the Blue Dream Ensemble (2012)
  • Sensual Journeys (2012)
  • 600 Years in a Moment (2013)
  • Signature - Solo (2015)[30]
  • Signature - Synchronicity (2016)[31]

Digital Only

  • Music for Funerals
  • Music For Weddings
  • Music For Sex


  1. "About Fiona Joy". Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  2. Parsons, Kathy (2008). "Interview with Fiona Joy Hawkins". ( Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  3. "Official bio". ( Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "About Fiona". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  5. Kelly Fuller (December 1, 2011). "Two Grand I'm Yours". ABC News. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  6. Fiona Joy Hawkins (2006). "Portrait of a Waterfall: liner notes". 
  7. Jackson, Ronald (2006). "Review of Ice (Piano Slightly Chilled)". ( Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  8. Kelly, Rhonda (2008-03-13). "Fiona Joy Hawkins is Chillin' at the Top of the New Age World". Reuters ( Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  9. "2006 NAR Lifestyle Music Award Winners". ( Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  10. "2007 Top 5 Finalists". ( Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  11. "Top 5 Nominees Announced for the Musicoz Awards" (pdf). ( 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2009-09-12. [dead link]
  12. "Official LAMA Main Event Award Categories". ( 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-12. 
  13. Neva Grant (January 18, 2011). "Musical Innovation: A Grander Grand Piano". NPR. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  14. Kathy Parsons (October 13, 2012). "Review - Two Grand I’m Yours: Tour Compilation". Mainly Piano. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  15. John Sunier (November 25, 2009). "Review - Fiona Joy Hawkins- Blue Dream – Little Hartley Music". Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Michael Blaxland (April 22, 2007). "Hawkins hoping for new age of recognition". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  17. "FIONA JOY HAWKINS - LIVING HER DREAM". Insight Magazine. November 2009. 
  18. "2009 ZMR Music Award Winners". Zone Music Reporter. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  19. "Fiona Joy Hawkins". Independent Music Awards. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  20. Michael Diamond. (June 11, 2013). "Music and Media Focus". Retrieved 25 Sep 2013. 
  21. "2013 ZMR Music Awards Winners". Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  22. "Fiona Joy credits". Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  23. "Winds of Samsara". Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  24. "New Age Albums list August 2, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 

External links