Wilbur Whitta is an award winning jazz pianist and composer based in Sydney.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic Wilbur was based in the UK, where he established himself as an in-demand musician. He has performed extensively around Australia, the UK, Europe and Japan, appearing as both a composer and performer. He is currently focused on working with his newly formed trio. Wilbur is set to record his debut album this year.
Wilbur’s musical influences span from pianists Craig Taborn, Kris Davis, Brad Mehldau, and Kit Downes, through to classical composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Elliot Carter and Bela Bartok. These influences inform Wilbur’s distinctive sound and unique compositional voice.
Wilbur has been presented with numerous honours and awards. Most recently he was awarded the 2019 Dankworth Jazz Composition Award for Small Ensemble, and was selected as a semi-finalist in the Riga Jazz Stage jazz piano competition. Other awards include the prestigious Australia Council for the Arts Career Development Award, the Leverhulme Trust Postgraduate Scholarship, the Tait Memorial Trust Award, the Boulton Memorial Fund Scholarship, the Rose Mandelbaum Scholarship in Music, the BBM Youth Support Award for Music and the Anthony and Sharon Lee Foundation Jazz Scholarship.
To date, Wilbur’s performance credentials include performances throughout numerous countries, including festivals such as the London Jazz Festival, Redfest Bristol, Manly Jazz Festival, Peats Ridge Music Festival and the Australian Music Week. He has also worked with some of Australia’s most respected jazz figures.
Wilbur recently completed a Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied on scholarship for two years. He graduated with distinction and was awarded the Diploma of the Royal Academy of Music (DipRAM). He undertook principle study in jazz performance, and secondary study in classical composition. He is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, completing his undergraduate degree with First Class Honours in 2016. While a student in Sydney, Wilbur received various faculty and university-wide scholarships, including the Conservatorium’s inaugural Jazz Scholarship and a University of Sydney Honours Scholarship. Wilbur also regularly led workshops on leadership within improvisation to students at the University of Sydney.
An experienced and enthusiastic educator, Wilbur offers music tuition in piano performance (classical, jazz, popular), music theory and composition. If interested please use the contact section on this website.
"I was immediately struck by Wilbur's exceptional technical facility, as well as his singular and personal voice on his instrument" - Kit Downes
"Wilbur Whitta is an exceptionally talented young pianist/composer who I expect will make a substantial contribution to Australian music in the years to come." – Mike Nock