Ronald (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.
His catalogue includes over one hundred works: solo works, 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. Four more song cycles received performances in June of 2021 and his new CD, "RONALD HANNAH Chamber Music/Musique de Chambre/Kammermusik", was released at that concert and is presently enjoying airplay in Canada and Europe. At present he is completing his 2nd Symphony. His vocal quartet arrangement of an Armenian lullaby, "Ruri, Ruri" won first prize at the Uncommon Music Festival in Sitka, Alaska, and that piece has since 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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