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Hannah Mae Swanson (b. 1997) grew up in Darwin and later Deerwood, Minnesota, and takes an inordinate amount of pride in her home state. She is passionate about connecting with people through music, which is what drew her to collaborative piano. Hannah has played collaborative repertoire in masterclasses for Yevgeny Sudbin, Rebecca Wilt, Chiharu Iinuma, Dr. Sally O’Reilly, Stephen Sulich, and others. In June 2017, she performed Brahms’s Piano Quartet in C Minor, No. 3, Op. 60 at the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Chamber Music Festival with Margot Schwartz, David Harding, and Bill Comita. She has also performed as a collaborative pianist at the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Conference, Le Domaine Forget de Charlevoix, the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), the NDSU Baroque Festival, Minnesota NATS, CMEA, and numerous recitals and festivals at UNC, NDSU, the University of Minnesota, and Bemidji State University (BSU). Hannah enjoys working with choirs immensely and has been a choral accompanist at two high schools and at Bemidji MusiCamp.
Hannah also has extensive experience performing solo piano repertoire. In February 2019, she performed a recital including solo works by Ligeti, Scriabin, Copland, and Mendelssohn at NDSU. She has also given solo performances and played in solo masterclasses in Brainerd, MN through the Lakes Area Music Festival, at BSU, and in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Classical piano aside, Hannah has performed as a jazz pianist for jazz combos and ensembles at BSU and in Fargo, ND. Notably, she played for Victor Wooten with the Blue Ice Jazz Combo at the JEN Conference in Louisville in 2016.
Hannah started taking piano lessons at age four, but she didn’t start seriously studying classical piano until she was in middle school. In high school, she studied with Susan Kavanaugh of Central Lakes College and with Dr. Edward Turley of the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University. She then studied with Dr. Stephen Carlson at BSU from 2015-2016 before transferring to NDSU. Hannah graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance in May 2019 from NDSU after studying with Dr. Tyler Wottrich. She was the recipient of the 2017 Presser Scholarship, as selected by the unanimous vote of the NDSU music faculty. Hannah most recently graduated with a master’s degree in Collaborative Piano at UNC after studying with Dr. Edward Rothmel.
Hannah has substantial experience working as a music instructor. She has been teaching piano since 2015 and has taught at three music academies and schools and teaches private piano independently. She has taught piano in both private and group settings. Hannah recently directed the piano camp at Bemidji MusiCamp in July 2022 and has also instructed for musical theatre students at Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, MN.
Hannah is currently based in northern Colorado. She works as a musician in the area, notably as a collaborative pianist at Colorado State University and UNC, and serves on the Bemidji MusiCamp board of directors. Hannah splits her time between her adventures in the realm of music and spending quality time with her cat Cosmos.
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