Hannah Ishizaki (b. 2000) is a composer and sound artist based in New York City. Her music seeks to foster connections between musicians and the audience through the explorations of the physicality of music performance. Hannah finds inspiration in the process of composition, leading her to experiment with a wide range of instruments and sound generating methods—from acoustic instruments in an orchestra to digital sensors to rocks and zippers. Immersed in the world of collaboration, Hannah has worked with dancers, actors, filmmakers, and visual artists, to connect the seemingly unconnected and create innovative and multidisciplinary projects.
In 2017, she became the youngest woman ever to have a world premiere with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO). Since then, the PSO has continued to perform Hannah’s orchestral work, “City of Bridges,” and Hannah has frequently worked with the Musicians of the PSO. Hannah was a featured composer on the episode of PSO’s Front Row: “Finding Your Song,” which was nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy Award.
Hannah’s work has been recognized throughout the United States and Internationally, and her compositions have been performed by renowned musicians and ensembles such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, and the National Sawdust Ensemble, Karen Gomyo, Nathan Meltzer, Kevin Zhu, Mira Wang, Guy Johnston, Sterling Elliot, Carlos Jiménez Fernández, and Umi Garrett. Hannah is a National Sawdust Hildegard Commission Winner '23, generously made possible by the Onassis Foundation and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. In 2022, Hannah was selected as one of four winners of Juilliard’s Orchestral Composition Competition, and her work, “Fractured Transformations” was premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra with Maestro Jeffrey Milarsky on April 18, 2022 in Alice Tully Hall. Hannah was an inaugural recipient of the Blueprint Fellowship with National Sawdust and the Toulmin Foundation in 2019, culminating in a performance of her collaboration with Cyrie Topete for Solo Dancer at National Sawdust in November of 2019. Hannah was also named a 2021 Toulmin Creator in collaboration with National Sawdust and the Center for Ballet and the Arts.
Recently, she completed a residency in the Henriquez (“The Boat”) Studio at Banff, where she researched and conceptualized for an evening-length work for the sounds of dance. In the summer of 2022, Hannah is the artist-in-residence for the Stiftung für Kunst und Musik, Dresden, writing a variety of chamber, orchestral, and vocal works based on the deconstruction of words and meaning. During her time in Dresden, she completed a String Octet that was premiered at the closing concert of the Moritzburg Festival.
In addition to composing, Hannah has also organized and created multidisciplinary arts performances and organizations. Recently, she organized the Amplified Currents Festival of the Arts Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 editions, which focused on highlighting the process of collaboration. She has also created “See Music; Hear Art,” a collaboration between Juilliard composers and Cooper Union visual artists to create collaborative works, which was presented in a sold-out performance and gallery.
Hannah also is an active violinist, producer, and conductor. Hannah has studied with violinists Areta Zhulla, Ronald Copes, and Hong-Guang Jia. At the age of 16, Hannah made her Heinz Hall conducting debut as the winner of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra’s conducting competition, judged by Leonard Slatkin. Previous composition teachers have included Robert Beaser, David Ludwig, and Chris Massa. Hannah is currently in the studios of Andrew Norman for composition and Areta Zhulla and Ronald Copes for violin at the Juilliard School, where she is the proud recipient of and first composer to receive a Kovner Fellowship.