McKeich began his career as a bassoonist, first learning the instrument from his father, Ross McKeich. At 19 years old, he became Associate Principal Bassoon with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Today, McKeich performs with around the world, and has given over 100 world premieres of new works. He is also Chief Conductor of the contemporary ensembles Stroma and 175 East.
Over the years, McKeich has worked with many international orchestras and chamber ensembles, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, ELISION ensemble, Metropole Orkest, Asko Ensemble of Holland, Sydney Symphony, Stroma, Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, Adelaide Symphony, Armenian Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Symphony, 175 East, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, Southern Symphonia and the EX Orchestra, to name but a few. He has toured China as Conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of New Zealand.
McKeich first honed his skills as a conductor under the tutelage of legendary teacher Professor Ilya Musin, as well as learning from prominent conductors Valery Gergiev, Sian Edwards and Peter Eötvös. Under the former’s guidance, McKeich successfully became a finalist of the Gergiev Festival Conductors Masterclass.
Further to his orchestral and ensemble concert performances, McKeich has worked in collaboration with artists of varying genres, including choreographers Graeme Murphy and Stephanie Lake, Simon O’Neill, Serj Tankian, John Psathas, the Pointer Sisters, Marlena Shaw, Nathan Haines and Shapeshifter. He has also conducted and arranged music for feature films both in New Zealand and Europe and has also conducted live televised performances in the Netherlands and in New Zealand.
In 2012, Hamish McKeich was awarded a Douglas Lilburn Trust citation for services to New Zealand music.