Cellist Hannah Collins is a dynamic performer and collaborator devoted to diverse forms of musical expression. Winner of De Linkprijs for contemporary interpretation, Hannah takes an active role in expanding the repertoire for cello and has commissioned and premiered solo works by composers such as Caroline Shaw, Patrick van Deurzen, and Timo Andres. With support from the Presser Foundation, Hannah spent 2009-2011 in France and The Netherlands researching and performing contemporary European cello repertoire. She continues to catalyze and champion the works of compelling young composers with New Morse Code, her duo with percussionist Michael Compitello. Hannah and Michael were finalists in the 2014 Concert Artists Guild Competition and recipients of a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant for a new work by Christopher Stark entitled The Language of Landscapes. New Morse Code's 2017 debut album Simplicity Itself on New Focus Recordings was described by icareifyoulisten.com as “an ebullient passage through pieces that each showcase the duo’s clarity of artistic vision and their near-perfect synchronicity,” while Q2 Music called the album “a flag of genuineness raised.” In 2019 they released the title suite of Matthew Barnson’s portrait album, Vanitas, on innova recordings and collaborated with Eliza Bagg, Lee Dionne, and andPlay on and all the days were purple, Alex Weiser’s Pulitzer Prize-finalist work on Cantaloupe music. New Morse Code was recently named the winner of the 2020 Ariel Avant Impact Performance Prize.
Hannah has been invited to give solo and chamber music performances at festivals throughout Europe and North America including Orford Centre d'arts (Canada), Kneisel Hall (US), NJO (The Netherlands), Aldeburgh Festival (UK), and Musique de Chambre à Giverny (France). She is a member of Trio Chanterelle and Cantata Profana, and has performed with The Knights, Decoda, Talea Ensemble, A Far Cry, and NOVUS NY. Praised for her “incisive, vibrant continuo” playing (South Miami Classical Review), Hannah appears regularly as a Baroque cellist with the Sebastians, New York Baroque Incorporated, Quodlibet Ensemble, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra.
A dedicated teaching artist, Hannah is an alumna of Ensemble Connect, a professional development program focused on chamber music performance, teaching artistry, and arts advocacy through the resources of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. She serves as co-director of KHBH: Together in Music, a recurring outreach residency which connects the Kneisel Hall Music Festival with the community of Blue Hill, Maine through creative projects. During the summer, she teaches cello and chamber music at Greenwood Junior Music Camp and serves as Assistant Director of Avaloch Farm Music Institute, a creative residency program for collaborating chamber musicians and composers.
Hannah earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering summa cum laude from Yale College and also holds graduate degrees in cello performance from the Yale School of Music, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and the City University of New York's Graduate Center. Her principal mentors have included Stefan Reuss, Ole Akahoshi, Aldo Parisot, Michel Strauss, Robert Mealy, and Marcy Rosen. Hannah is currently Assistant Professor of Cello at the University of Kansas School of Music.
Photo by Elizabeth Taylor Frandsen