Christian Heim

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Christian Heim (born 1960) is an Australian composer and psychiatrist.[1]

Heim was born in Sydney and later lived in Brisbane. He studied under Peter Sculthorpe and has conducted and composed in Vienna, Paris and New York.[2] Many of his works – mainly for orchestra, percussion and vocal ensembles – are of a spiritual or meditative nature and include Prayer Dances, Journey, and Transformation.[3] He held academic posts at the University of Wollongong and the University of Newcastle. Most recently, his output has been for the theatre.

He gained his Bachelor of Medicine (honours) from the University of Newcastle in New South Wales in 2001 and was granted the right to practice psychiatry in Queensland on 15 February 2008.[4] He received a Churchill Fellowship to research the therapeutic effects of music in clinical settings and his research concentrates on the arts/medicine interface.[5]

His findings on the effects of baroque music on dementia patients were published in Australasian Journal of Ageing in early 2004.[6] They were described on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National program, The National Interest in July.[7][8]

In July 2010 Heim directed, and provided the music, for an Australian theatrical rendition of Shadowlands, a play written by William Nicholson.[9] Mardi Lumsden of JourneyOnline felt his " direction is an innovative adaptation ... with the introduction of live music, sculpture and mine."[9] Whereas Caitlin Graham of Australian Stage opined that due to "some clumsy and fussy direction" it "falls short" whilst "The music and the sculpture are lovely and create a nice atmosphere ... but frankly the mime is just an awkward extra that takes away from the dignity of many of the scenes."[10]

Heim delivered a lecture, "Baroque & the Brain Wave: can music help in dementia care?", in May 2014 to the Royal Society of New South Wales.[11] The society's Anne Wood described that "What he has done is to take this music from the late 17th century through to the mid 18th century and explore its therapeutic use in dementia patients with the aim of producing more calming brainwaves."[11]

In March 2016 he provided "An Afternoon with Chopin and George Sand", where he played piano in his portrayal of Chopin with Caroline Heim as Sand.[2]


  • Journey (1983)[12]
  • Transformation (1993)[13]
  • What the ear cannot hear: hidden structures in three works of music with programmes of a christian nature (thesis, 1995)[14]
  • Prayer Dances (2000) Move Records[15]
  • Music Therapy in Hospital Settings (2001)[5]


  1. ^ "Christian Heim, Associate Composer", Australian Music Centre
  2. ^ a b "Upcoming Events | Royal Society Lecture 'Special Event'". Chevalier College. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Search: Works by Christian Heim", Australian Music Centre. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  4. ^ Medical Board of Queensland. "Public Access Register – Registrant Details". Retrieved 26 November 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Fellowship Report" (PDF). Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Richards, Deb (5 February 2004). "Bach beats the blues in nursing home trial". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Baroque Dementia", The National Interest, ABC Radio National
  8. ^ Lane, Terry; Heim, Christian; McCliver, Sarah (11 July 2004). "Baroque Dementia". The National Interest. Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Lumsden, Mardi (6 August 2010). "Shadowlands". JourneyOnline. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Graham, Caitlin (30 July 2010). "Shadowlands | Crossbow Productions". Australian Stage. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Wood, Anne (May 2014). "Baroque & the Brain Wave: can music help in dementia care?". The Bulletin (377). Royal Society of New South Wales. ISSN 1039-1843. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  12. ^ Heim, Christian (1983), Journey for solo piano, retrieved 14 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia 
  13. ^ Heim, Christian (1993), Transformation: for Violin & Piano, Christian Heim, retrieved 14 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia 
  14. ^ Heim, Christian (1995), What the ear cannot hear: hidden structures in three works of music with programmes of a christian nature, retrieved 14 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia 
  15. ^ Heim, Christian; Routley, Nicholas; Allan, Miriam; Chubb, Andrew; Lawson, Miriam; Sydney Chamber Choir; Sprung Percussion (2000), Prayer Dances, Move Records, retrieved 14 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia