Ronald (Ron) Hannah was born in Western Canada, but he is a wanderer, having taught English in China and backpacked much of SE Asia, Australia and South America (he wrote an opera while living in Guatemala based on the tragic history of that country). At present he finds himself in Austria, married to singer/director, Andrea Mellis. He is a pianist and clarinettist, and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in composition from the University of Alberta, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. His interests are eclectic, ranging from travel and the sciences to biography, history, and Eastern philosophy. As a music student his teachers were Violet Archer (herself a student of Bartok), Manus Sasonkin and Malcolm Forsyth. At his website (https://ronhannah.com) visitors can listen to and download samples of his works and read his lively descriptions of same. His works have been performed in Canada and internationally.
His first dedicated CD, "Ronald Hannah - Chamber Music, Musique de Chambre, Kammermusik", is availabie on Naxos (via the Canadian Music Centre Distribution Service", various purchase and streaming sites.* It is presently enjoying airplay in Canada, the US, and Europe. A second CD, this time of piano and organ music, will be available early in 2023.
* on YouTube enter "Ronald Hannah", not "Ron Hannah".
Regarding his String Quartet #1, which features on this CD and on an earlier one, one critic had this to say: "... the second movement is fittingly slow, introspective, in a remarkably beautiful intonation and a counterpoint that is devastatingly serene and clear, bringing you - I'm not kidding! - almost to tears. This is high art. I have to find out where I can obtain more CDs by Ron Hannah, because this string quartet makes it mandatory to go looking for further wonders. Masterly!" (http://www.sonoloco.com/rev/singular/stringtime/stringtime.html)
His catalogue includes over one hundred works: solo, choral, chamber, song cycles, orchestral, two ballets and several operas and plays-with-songs. His opera "The Illuminator" was premiered in Yerevan, Armenia, in 2017, and his cycle, "Star Songs" for soprano and string quartet was first performed in Vienna in July of 2020, with Wilma Maller as soloist. and he is hoping one day to release another album of his vocal and choral music. His vocal quartet arrangement of an Armenian lullaby, "Ruri, Ruri", won first prize at the Uncommon Music Festival in Sitka, Alaska in 2019, and the full choral version was premiered in Nuremberg in October of 2022. Four more song cycles received performances in June of 2021, and "Ruri, Ruri" has been published by Performer's Edition.
He prefers to set texts and stories that express the human condition in a vivid and honest manner, and that are colourful in language and irreverent in tone. His music tends toward the conservative with a streak of Romanticism, in an eclectic style that he describes as "dissonant pan-tonality", but elements of the atonal, of textural writing, of minimalism, and of randomness can also be found, with the unending intention of being understood and enjoyed by an audience.
He has received commissions from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Alberta Choral Federation, and many groups and individuals. He is a member of SOCAN (performing rights organization), an affiliate of the Austrian Composers Association and of the Canadian Music Centre, from the latter of which which many of his works, both scores and recordings, can be obtained. He is also a reviewer, essayist and travel writer.
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