A Philadelphia native, violist Hannah Rose Nicholas has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Central City Opera Orchestra (Principal), New World Symphony (Co-Principal, 2014-17), and the Philadelphia Orchestra. She is the Principal Violist of the Pennsylvania Ballet and a member of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra.
Hannah has given solo viola performances at the Kennedy Center, the Lucerne Festival Academy, and the New World Symphony, where she was praised for her "rich tonal sonority" (South Florida Classical Review). Principal viola highlights with the New World Symphony include Strauss' Don Quixote with cellist John Sharp, and on tour with soloist Anne Sophie Mutter. The New York Classical Review wrote of the Carnegie Hall performance: “Violist Hannah Nicholas’s solo line that elided off the end of one of Mutter’s phrases was exceptional.”
In the fall of 2017, Hannah performed in the new music focused Barnes Ensemble in Philadelphia, led by the JACK Quartet. During this residency, Hannah met violist Sam Kelder and the two founded Shizuka duo. The two have since performed at MISE-EN-Place and Spectrum (NYC), and Berklee School of Music in Boston.
For three seasons, Hannah was a featured artist with the O, Miami Poetry Festival, putting on multimedia concerts with poets and visual artists. Her performances led to ongoing collaborations with musicians Sahba Aminikia, Layale Chaker, Abby Swidler, and Ljova.
Hannah’s own folk-inspired compositions have been performed at the James Turrell Skyspace at Rice University, the Archway Gallery in Houston for the Art of Cultural Intersection in Music series (2016), and the University of Texas El Paso Perspectives in Counterpoint residency (2018). She is featured on The alt Default EP (2017), and released her debut single in the fall of 2018, “Wanderers,” , with Josh Nussbaum on guitar.
Hannah earned a Masters in Music from New England Conservatory, studying with Kim Kashkashian, and an Artist Certificate in Chamber Music from San Francisco Conservatory, studying with Paul Hersh and Jonathan Vinocour. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (Magna Cum Laude), where she currently is an instructor of songwriting and viola in the College House Music Program.
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