Ron Hannah was born in, and resided much of his life in Western Canada, though he has also taught English in China and has 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. He is married to singer and 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 and Eastern philosophy. As a music student his teachers were Violet Archer, Manus Sasonkin and Malcolm Forsyth.
He taught in public schools for several years after receiving a Diploma in Education and has two daughters from a first marriage. 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.
Recently several chamber works have been premiered in Vienna, one of his 5 Preludes for Organ was performed at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and his opera "The Illuminator" was premiered in Yerevan, Armenia. His catalogue includes over one hundred works: solo works, choral, chamber, song cycles, orchestral, two ballets and several operas and plays-with-songs. In connection with theatre works, he has a one-woman opera based on the journals of Emily Carr (Canadian artist), another dealing with the nonsense surrounding end-of-the-world scares at the turn of the millennium, a work based on the historical character, Hypatia, and another based on the history of Guatemala, as mentioned. His new cycle, "Star Songs" for soprano and string quartet, was premiered in Vienna in July of 2020, and he has just completed a violin concerto. As well, a choral work, "Ruri Ruri" based on an Armenian lullaby, has just 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.
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 Österreichisches Komponistenbund (Austrian Composers Association) and the Canadian Music Centre, from the last 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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