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The Click! Commission: Hannah Lash

Colorado Music Festival's innovative audience-sourced initiative to seek out new cutting-edge orchestral compositions

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Expert From Hannah Lash’s Harp Concerto #2

Posted on August 31, 2016 by Colorado Music Festival

“Last night’s successful world premiere of Hannah Lash’s Harp Concerto No. 2 resulted in likely the most substantial work yet commissioned by the admirable Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts Click! program. A 20+ minute work with chamber orchestra allowed for greater imaginative explorations compared to earlier Click! pieces that were shorter and for full orchestra (not to disparage in any way the solid previous Click! works). The first movement melded some delicate harp material with some colorful, atmospheric sounds from the orchestra. The 2nd movement offered some traditional, conservative harp writing set off against ominous orchestral contrasts, while the concluding 3rd movement presented more lively interactions between the harp and orchestra, though ending quietly with some solo harp plucks. Congrats all around.”

– Thomas Steenland

We couldn’t have said it any better than long-time Colorado Music Festival supporter, Thomas Steenland. The July 31st premiere of Lash’s commission, Harp Concert #2, was one for the history books of the Click! Commission and Residency program. On behalf of everyone here at the Colorado Music Festival, a huge ‘thank you’ to New Music USA and all of our supporters for giving life to this exciting commissioning program and Hannah Lash’s beautiful new composition.

Please enjoy this excerpt from the third movement of Lash’s Harp Concerto No. 2!

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Hannah Lash and the Colorado Music Festival Debut Harp Concerto #2

Posted on August 23, 2016 by Colorado Music Festival

Led by music director Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Hannah Lash and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra debuted Lash’s original composition, Harp Concerto #2 on July 29th. The culmination of Lash’s Colorado Music Festival residency, the world premier of Harp Concerto #2 was met with rave reviews at Chautauqua auditorium in Boulder, CO. Stay tuned for a recording of Lash’s spectacular performance!

Hannah Lash Works with Young Composers

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Colorado Music Festival

During the 2nd day of the Click Commission Residency week, Hannah Lash and the four residency Composer Fellows share their thoughts and insights with young composers from the Center for Musical Arts.

Upcoming residency events include:

Harp Masterclass with Hannah Lash – Friday July 29 @ 7PM, Center for Musical Arts

String Quartet Reading of Works by Composer Fellows – Saturday, July 30 @ 2PM, Center for Musical Arts

Lash Commission World Premiere – Sunday, July 31 @ 7:30PM, Chautauqua Auditorium with post-concert talk

Lash Commission 2nd Performance – Monday, August 1 @ 7:30PM, Estes Park Music Festival

Lash Harp Concerto No. 2 World Premiere July 31

Posted on May 12, 2016 by Colorado Music Festival

2016 Click! Composer-in-Residence and harpist Hannah Lash joins the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra as soloist for the world premiere of her Harp Concerto No. 2 on Sunday, July 31 at 7:30pm.


Each season, the Colorado Music Festival invites 3 world-class American composers to participate in an audience-driven competition where votes are cast by donating $10 to the program. At the end of the six-week Festival, the winning composer is announced and commissioned to write a new work to be premiered the following season using the funds collected. 

For 2016, CMF will add a dynamic, week-long composer residency program featuring Hannah Lash, the winning composer from the 2015 Festival. The  residency will be a focal point for the overall six-week Festival, with the world premiere performance of Ms. Lash’s work as its centerpiece. Two additional concerts during the week will include works already in existence by the composer (one symphonic, one chamber work).

In addition to lectures, panel discussions and educational workshops, Ms. Lash will mentor a select group of graduate student composers. Students will work with Ms. Lash, have existing symphonic compositions read and recorded by the CMF Orchestra, and have a new chamber music work performed on a Festival subscription concert.

Defined by musical openness and an adventurous spirit, the Colorado Music Festival is deeply committed to supporting and presenting new works. As Music Director Jean-Marie Zeitouni states, “I firmly believe in the importance of working with living composers, from the perspective of both the musicians performing the works and for the listeners in the audience.  Both are challenged to hear music in new ways, to expand their understanding and experience. Strong relationships between composers and artists, as well as composers and listeners are essential to the vitality of the art form.”

Hannah Lash is hailed by the New York Times as “striking and resourceful…handsomely brooding.” Her music has been performed at the Times Center in Manhattan, the Chicago Art Institute, Tanglewood Music Center, Harvard University, The Chelsea Art Museum, and on the American Opera Project’s stage in New York City. Commissions include The Fromm Foundation, The Naumburg Foundation, The Orpheus Duo, The Howard Hanson Foundation’s Commissioning Fund, Case Western Reserve’s University Circle Wind Ensemble, MAYA, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.

Lash has received numerous honors and prizes, including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fromm Foundation Commission, a fellowship from Yaddo Artist Colony, the Naumburg Prize in Composition, the Barnard Rogers Prize in Composition, the Bernard and Rose Sernoffsky Prize in Composition, and numerous academic awards. Her orchestral work Furthermore was selected by the American Composers Orchestra for the 2010 Underwood New Music Readings. Her chamber opera, Blood Rose, was presented by New York City Opera’s VOX in the spring of 2011.

Lash obtained her Ph.D in Composition from Harvard University in 2010. She has held teaching positions at Harvard University (Teaching Fellow), at Alfred University (Guest Professor of Composition), and currently serves on the composition faculty at Yale University School of Music.

Past Click! winners include Patrick Zimmerli, (Festival Overture, 2011), Daniel Kellogg, (The Gates of Paradise, 2012), and Kristin Kuster, (Devil’s Thumb, 2013).

Project Media

This Ease (Excerpt) – Hannah Lash
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Features: Hannah Lash

Described by the LA Times as “atmospheric and melancholy,” This Ease was commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and premiered on April 26, 2014.

God Music, Bug Music – Mvt. I – Hannah Lash
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Features: Hannah Lash

“God Music, Bug Music uses the same cell of five notes in
both movements of the piece, though very differently in each. In God Music, this cell rages in the brass before it infiltrates the rest of the ensemble, and the movement culminates in rhythmic unison for the whole orchestra. In Bug Music, the motif is expressed canonically in a chamber-like setting, slowly swarming its way into all the instruments, finally reaching full saturation: a breakdown of the canonic structure into a fully chromatic cluster.” – Hannah Lash

Three Shades without Angles – Hannah Lash
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Features: Hannah Lash

Premiered on February 9, 2014 and commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the 50th Anniversary Season of its chamber series. Lash drew inspiration from Auguste Rodin’s sculpture, The Three Shades, and created a piece “that plays with the idea of transformation of musical shapes…I was deeply drawn to the sinewy character of Rodin’s work, its intensity, muscularity, consistency, and the way in which movement and energy is represented in his shapes.”

Start and End Dates



Boulder, Colorado

4 updates
Last update on August 31, 2016

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Boulder, Colorado
The Colorado Music Festival presents world-class performances to over 22,000 attendees each summer during a six-week summer festival nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder, CO. Now under the baton of newly appointed Music Director, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, the Festival’s performances are known for their uncompromising musical excellence and highly diverse repertoire,…

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New Haven, Connecticut


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