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Dr Jill Jarman

Associate Lecturer for Music

Jill Jarman Staff Headshot


Jill Jarman is a composer and jazz pianist, whose music reflects diverse genres, effortlessly crossing the boundaries between classical and jazz “…a joyous meeting of musical worlds” (Neil Fisher, The Times). Science and the natural world often inform her creative process, inspiring her to develop new compositional devices that engage the listener in an evolving and multi‐layered sound‐world. She created a new harmonic system, Polychords of limited transposition, which can be heard in many of her pieces.

Jarman’s works have been performed at many renowned concert halls and festivals, including The Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), Queen’s Hall (Edinburgh), the Hay Literary Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, Musikaliska (Stockholm), Nostos Festival (Athens), London Contemporary Church Music Festival (LFCCM) and Kings Place. Her works are performed by some of the UK’s leading musicians, such as Evelyn Glennie, Hugo Ticciati, and the O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra, and further afield by the Greek National Opera Orchestra and the Cypriot ensemble Faos. In 2021, a new disc by Chelys and the Fieri Consort released on BIS Records features Jarman’s work Now are my thoughts. She is the recipient of a PRS Foundation Open Fund for Music Creators award.

One of Jarman’s most regular collaborators is percussionist Evelyn Glennie, for whom she wrote the critically acclaimed double concerto Mindstream, commissioned by violinist Hugo Ticciati and performed alongside his O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra. This work particularly showcases Jarman’s merging of jazz and classical, as described in this review by The Swedish Dagbladet “…Art music with jazz waywardness”.

Jarman is currently writing a double concerto series, Across the divide, bringing ‘background’ instruments forward as soloists. The first work in the series premiered in 2022 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with percussionist Evelyn Glennie, double bassist Chi‐Chi Nwanoku and the Chineke! Orchestra. The second will feature harpist Catrin Finch, Evelyn Glennie, and a string quartet led by Hugo Ticciati.

As an orchestrator and conductor, Jarman worked on many high‐profile events such as the Manchester Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies (2002), and the Olympic Torch Relay, performed by the RPO and broadcast on BBC1.

Jarman was mentored by Benny Goodman’s acclaimed vibraphonist Roger Nobes, and her 80’s jazz fusion band Storm Warning toured extensively, releasing the seminal album Spirit Level. Much of Jarman’s composition work is informed by her training and accomplished career as a jazz pianist. For her piece Echoes from the birdcage, Jarman performed alongside saxophonists Paul Booth and Ian East, cellist Bryan O’Kayne, and Evelyn Glennie.

A strong advocate of music education, and cross‐disciplinary collaboration, Jarman has collaborated with physicists, astronomers, dancers, and historians: more recently, for The Sounds of Science (premiered at the Edinburgh Science Festival) which moves through a timeline of science and engineering. Two of her percussion pieces, New Orleans Sunrise, and Carnival, are included in the percussion syllabus for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, and her story‐led work The Unicorn, commissioned by Swedish conductor David Lundblad, is for audiences of all ages wishing to learn more about the orchestra.

Current Research

A three‐way collaboration with:

  • Professor Laura Ritchie, looking at the resonance of sound and how it can be ‘seen’, the outcome of which will allow people with hearing loss to enjoy music in an inclusive manner. It also provides an alternative framework for composers to experiment and write music with.
  • Ben Sharpe, researching eye tracker technology to gain insight on the musician’s cognition, preparation, and performance of specific musical


This research addresses accessibility and reaches marginalised and disadvantaged groups –specifically the hearing impaired by breaking down the stigma of hearing‐impaired musical audiences by providing a shared musical experience with hearing and non‐hearing impaired. This will impact quality of life and social well‐being, along with raising the need to influence and amend future concert programming. The performances resulting from this research provide an enriching
experience through music and science for the hearing impaired.

“She is a composer of the highest calibre with a style that is a very special combination of complexity and accessibility.”
Hugo Ticciati (Violinist and Artistic Director of O/Modernt)


Other department members

Alison Bell
Assistant Administrator
Alison Woodward
Alison Woodward
Deputy Director, University of Chichester Conservatoire
Programme Coordinator - BA Hons Acting for Film and BA Hons Music
Alonso Mendoza-Moreno
Alonso Mendoza-Moreno
Associate Lecturer - Instrumentalist

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