Hannah Christiansen, violin and Jonathan Hannau, piano


  • Leos Janacek (1854-1928) - Sonata for Violin and Piano (1914) (18')
  • I. Con Moto
  • II. Ballada
  • III. Allegretto
  • IV. Adagio
  • Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) - Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 4 (1949) (19')
  • I. Moderato
  • II. Andante ma non troppo
  • III. Scherzo, molto vivace
  • IV. Finale, con passione

Currently a member of the Varo String Quartet, violinist Hannah Christiansen performs regularly with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Dal Neinte and has also appeared in recent seasons with the Ulster Orchestra (Belfast, Northern Ireland), Washington Island Music Festival, SouthEastern Young Artists, F-PLUS, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Hannah’s particular interest in nonstandard notation and extended technique has led her to hold positions as Artist in Residence with the composition departments at Northwestern University and Roosevelt University and as a Sponsored Artist of High Concept Laboratories; she has also guest lectured on extended techniques for the violin at the University of Chicago. With percussionist Joe Bricker (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), Hannah designed and runs From Scratch, an education program which introduces young musicians to contemporary music early in their careers. Hannah was a Fellow of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and holds a degree in French Language and Literature from Oberlin College in addition to her violin studies at Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, and DePaul University. Her major teachers are Milan Vitek, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Janet Sung.

Jonathan Hannau is a Chicago-based composer and pianist devoted to the surreal, minimal, abstract, and colorful possibilities of music. He actively embraces eclecticism and explores concepts of narrative, drama, and stark expression by evoking a kaleidoscopic range of timbres.

As a pianist he has been praised for his delicate, refined touch, his capable handling of the extremes of dynamic shape, and his uncanny knack for navigating complex polyrhythms. His multi-style performance history has helped foster a unique approach to piano performance, pushing the limits of what is possible on the instrument.

Recent engagements involved celebrating the release of his newest album for solo piano The Cottage at the End of the Forest which he premiered at Evanston’s SPACE in September 2023. He also worked with Ensemble Dal Niente on two projects in October 2023: One at the Bowling Green State University New Music Festival, performing works by Marcos Balter, Carola Bauckholt, and the world premiere of To Care for the Bodies of the Dead by Michelle Lou. The other, performing the American premiere of Simon Steen-Andersen’s Black Box Music at Chicago’s Epiphany Center for the Arts.

About the Dame Myra Hess Concerts

The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and by individual donors.

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