Violist Hannah Rose Nicholas started her musical path as a Middle Eastern Studies major at the University of Pennsylvania, inspired by the music and poetry she studied in her classes. She plays in the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. She has performed as principal viola on highlighted concerts including Strauss’ Don Quixote with cellist John Sharp, and on tour in Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Hannah performs with musicians from around the world, most recently in France and Switzerland, as well as Montreal and the Banff Centre in Canada, during a residency in Persian and Eastern Music Traditions. She was the soloist for Tod Machover’s Song of Penance, for viola, electronics, and orchestra, at the Lucerne Festival Academy in August 2015.
Solo and chamber performances include recitals on the New World Symphony series Solo Spotlight and Inside the Music that combine music, poetry, and visual art. Hannah is a featured artist in the 2016 Miami Poetry Festival, O, Miami. She also writes her own music, inspired by Jewish and Middle Eastern folk styles.
Hannah is a founding member, vocalist and violist of the world and indie-folk music trio, The alt Default. The band is a 2015-16 winner of the Knight Arts Challenge for its collaborative songwriting residency with middle school students. She studied viola performance under Kim Kashkashian at the New England Conservatory, and loves to explore a range of musical styles and improvisation.