harp

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Bio

As a soloist, Hannah Lash has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Cabrillo Festival, Miller Theatre, the Alabama Symphony, the Yale School of Music, and the Bennington Chamber Music Conference. She recently premiered her first harp concerto at Zankel Hall with the American Composers Orchestra under the direction of George Manahan. Lash’s playing has been praised for its virtuosity, described by critic Michael Huebner as “technical wizardry,” as well as for her musical depth of expression.

Lash’s music has been commissioned and performed by the LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, the LA Chamber Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, the JACK Quartet, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Naumberg Foundation, and others. She has received numerous honors and prizes, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, a Charles Ives Scholarship and a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a fellowship from Yaddo Artist Colony, a Copland House Residency, a Copland Recording Grant, and others. She was the 2015 winner of the CLICK! Commission from the Colorado Music Festival, which will commission her second harp concerto.

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 2009, her string quartet Four Still was performed in Kyev in the Ukraine’s largest international music festival, “Musical Premieres of the Season,” curated by Carson Cooman. In 2010, her piece Unclose was premiered by members of Eighth Blackbird at the MusicX Festival in Blonay, Switzerland. In 2016, Lash will perform her Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra with the Orchestra of the Swan under David Curtis in England.

Lash will be releasing her debut CD of all her own music, playing with the JACK Quartet in 2016 on the New Focus Label. Other upcoming projects include the a concertino for harp with chamber ensemble, commissioned by Chamber Music Northwest, to feature Lash as harp soloist. She will also be playing her piece Leaves, Space with bassist Samuel Suggs at the NY Philharmonic Biennial concert in 2016, as well as a faculty recital at the Yale School of Music.

Lash obtained her Ph.D in composition from Harvard University. She also holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music in harp, and the Eastman School of Music in composition, as well as an Artist Diploma in composition from the Yale School of Music. Lash currently serves full-time on the composition faculty of the Yale School of Music.

Press

“[Lash] proves, or confirms, that [the harp] is both a virtuosic and a very interesting solo instrument… superb…Lash’s playing was assured.”
– The New Criterion, Jay Nordlinger

“Lash is an excellent musician and on a subtler level her experience with the instrument crucially influences her compositional ideas…There is a luminous quality to the music that came through in this confident, lively performance.”
– New York Classical Review, George Grella

“The standout piece of the evening was the premiere of Hannah Lash’s Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra. Lash, who is a composer and a harpist, joined the orchestra on stage to perform as the soloist. The piece is quirky and bouncy, the orchestra often moving towards a groove before knocking itself out of it. The harp writing was particularly stunning, with beautiful melodies and moving cadenzas permeating the piece. The final cadenza was particularly powerful, revealing, as the composer describes in the program notes, “a music that is special, beautiful, otherworldly, and fragile, like the harp itself.” After the final note resonated through the hall, Lash’s piece received three curtain calls (and it was only intermission!).”
– I Care If You Listen, Sam Reising

Ms. Lash, 34 and a professor at the Yale School of Music, creates richly textured scores that include a chamber concerto for harp. She said that while composing “Filigree in Textile,” a three-movement piece for harp and string quartet inspired by medieval tapestry art, she spent many hours trying to create a sense of perpetual motion in the harp part. She gave the work’s premiere here with the excellent JACK Quartet. Her efforts paid off in “Silk,” the final and most alluring movement. Woven through with an ornate, rippling harp filigree, the luxuriant textures were multilayered instead of silky smooth.
– The New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer

“…at times creating a harsh and ominous dreamscape, at other times a soft impressionistic palette. Equally impressive was Lash’s virtuosity on her instrument, not only for her technical wizardry of pedal shifts and arpeggios, but for her mood shifts.”
– AL.com, Michael Huebner

Hannah LashStalk


Carlos SalzedoBallade

Marcel Grandjany, Rhapsodie

Gabriel FauréImpromptu

Gallery

 

Program Offerings

The Company I Keep

Sonatas for Harp

Bones, Muscles, Filigree

 

Concerto Offerings

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major, K. 299 (1778)

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Danse sacreé et profane, for solo harp and string orchestra (1904)

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Introduction and Allegro for flute, clarinet harp, and string quartet (1905)

Hannah Lash (b. 1981)
Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra (2015)

Additional Offerings

Harp in Contemporary Music as Part of a Continuum

Hannah Lash’s philosophy in approaching new music is that it is part of a musical continuum rather than a whole different species of music from our standard repertoire. In practicing and rehearsing new music, one can adjust one’s strategy to be sensi…

Playing Piano Music on the Harp

Harpists play many transcriptions of music written for other instruments, particularly piano. Hannah Lash believes that transcribing is incredibly important, and that harpists can always push themselves and their instruments further than they might ima…

Writing for Harp

This lecture demonstration is geared specifically to composers who wish to learn more about the harp and how to write their music in a way that will work with the instrument’s unique constraints and qualities. Hannah Lash brings in a range of examples,…

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