biography

Ms. Lash’s compact sequence of pale brush strokes, ghostly keening and punchy outbursts was striking and resourceful; you hoped to hear it again…
– Steve Smith, The New York Times

Hailed by the New York Times as “striking and resourceful…handsomely brooding,” Hannah Lash’s music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, the Times Center in Manhattan, the Chicago Art Institute, Tanglewood Music Center, Harvard University, The Aspen Music Festival & School, The Chelsea Art Museum, and on the American Opera Project’s stage in New York City. Commissions include The Fromm Foundation, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music Northwest, the McKim Fund in the Library of Congress, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, American Composers Orchestra, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, The Naumburg Foundation, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Arditti Quartet, the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, the Colorado Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival and School, among many others.

Lash has received numerous honors and prizes, including Rappaport Prize for Music Composition (2018), ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2011), a Charles Ives Scholarship (2011) and Fellowship (2016) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant, a fellowship from Yaddo Artist Colony, the Naumburg Prize in Composition, the Barnard Rogers Prize in Composition, the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize in Composition, and numerous academic awards. Her orchestral work Furthermore was selected by the American Composers Orchestra for the 2010 Underwood New Music Readings. Her chamber opera, Blood Rose, was presented by New York City Opera’s VOX in the spring of 2011.

New York Times music critic Steve Smith praised Lash’s work for the JACK Quartet, Frayed: “Ms. Lash’s compact sequence of pale brush strokes, ghostly keening and punchy outbursts was striking and resourceful; you hoped to hear it again…”  Esteemed music critic Bruce Hodges lauded Lash’s piece Stalk for solo harp as being “appealing…florid, and introspective.”

In addition to performances of her music in the USA, Lash’s music is well known internationally. In April of 2008, her string quartet Four Still was performed in Kyev in the Ukraine’s largest international new music festival, “Musical Premieres of the Season,” curated by Carson Cooman. In the summer of 2010, her piece Unclose was premiered by members of Eighth Blackbird at the MusicX festival in Blonay, Switzerland.In 2016, her chamber orchestra work This Ease saw its German premiere and was selected as “audience favorite” in performances by the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz, conducted by Hermann Bäumer. In 2019, her work was featured at the Presteigne Festival in Wales, and in 2021 she anticipates her work The Nature of Breaking to be performed at the Alba Festival in Alba, Italy. She will also be featured in a Composer Portrait in Mainz, Germany in 2021, where multiple Lash works will be performed over a week.

Recent premieres include the multi-movement orchestral work The Voynich Symphony by the New Haven Symphony, Form and Postlude for Chamber Music Northwest, a new Requiem for the Yale Choral Artists, How to Remember Seeds for The Calidore String Quartet, Three Shades Without Angles, for flute, viola and harp, by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Two Movements for violin and piano, commissioned by the Library of Congress for Ensemble Intercontemporain, and a new chamber opera, Beowulf, for Guerilla Opera, as well as several new orchestral works: Chaconnes, for the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial, Eating Flowers, for the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Nymphs, for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and This Ease, for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as two concerti for harp premiered by the American Composers Orchestra (Concerto No. 1 for Harp and Chamber Orchestra) and the Colorado Music Festival (Concerto No. 2 for Harp and Orchestra), both with Lash as soloist.

Other recent premieres include God Music Bug Music (2011) with the Minnesota Orchestra, the monodrama Stoned Prince (2013) by loadbang, Subtilior Lamento (2012) with the Da Capo Chamber Players at Carnegie Hall, and Glockenliebe (2012), for three glockenspiels, with Talujon Percussion. Her 2011 orchestral work, Hush, was featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2013 Brooklyn Festival. In 2016, Lash was honored with a Composer Portrait Concert at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, which included newly commissioned works for pianist Lisa Moore (Six Etudes and a Dream) and loadbang (Music for Eight Lungs). In the 2017-2018 season, Lash’s Piano Concerto No. 1In Pursuit of Flying” was given its premiere performances by Jeremy Denk and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra debuted a new orchestral work, Facets of Motion. In October of 2019, tenor Paul Appleby gave the premiere of Songs of Imagined Love, a new song cycle commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The 2019-20 season saw a number of exciting premieres, including Hannah Lash’s chamber opera, Desire, which received great acclaim following its premiere at Miller Theatre in October 2019, a Double Concerto for piano and harp performed by the composer and pianist Jeremy Denk with the Naples Philharmonic, and Forestallings, a pairing piece for Beethoven’s Second Symphony for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Lash obtained her Ph.D in Composition from Harvard University in 2010. She has held teaching positions at Harvard University (Teaching Fellow), at Alfred University (Guest Professor of Composition), and currently serves on the composition faculty at Yale University School of Music.