Conductors of the future: Hannah Nacheman

HANNAH NACHEMAN is a conductor, vocalist, and educator based in New York City. A lifelong musician and arts advocate, Hannah has performed on many prestigious stages including Alice Tully Hall, David Geffen Hall, the David H. Koch Theater of Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. She currently serves as the Assistant Conductor to The Choral Society at Grace Church in NY, and is one of the co-creators of Girls Who Conduct, a mentorship program for young women and non-binary musicians, whose mission is to foster diversity and inclusion in classical music. This season, she also serves as Assistant Conductor for City Lyric Opera’s production of Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon, a role she will continue into the ’22-23 season. Furthermore, she serves as Guest Faculty for the Juilliard School Preparatory Division. She has previously served as Director of the Primo Coro ensemble of the New Jersey Youth Chorus and Assistant Conductor to the National Children’s Chorus. In addition to vocal performance, her musical training includes harp, piano, and violin, which she teaches in her private music studio in NYC, along with conducting and musicianship. Hannah holds music degrees from Bryn Mawr College and The Manhattan School of Music, with continued studies at The Juilliard School. She’s specialized pedagogical work focuses on music and the brain– her research, studying the positive effects of music on human behavior, enables her to provide students with a musical toolkit with which to better approach all aspects of their lives.

Dear Hannah, hello and thank you for accepting our invitation for this issue’s Conductors of the future rubric! We are thrilled to have the chance to get to know you better and to talk with you about your path & the beautiful world of opera.

Thanks for inviting me! It’s my pleasure.

Your musical training is exquisite and we are very curious to find out how everything started for you on this beautiful journey of music.

Music has always been a very important part of my life! As the youngest of four children, I remember listening at the door of my older brothers’ piano lessons or choir rehearsals and begging to be a part of them. When I was finally old enough, I started piano, then choir and orchestra– for violin– and eventually even harp and voice lessons were added to the mix. My parents really fostered my love of music and I am tremendously grateful that they allowed me to explore so many musical endeavors– they likely thought I would narrow it down and pick just one instrument, but keeping them all definitely tracks for a future conductor! To this day I try to learn and understand as many instruments as possible.

Now, tell us more about your experience as a Assistant Conductor at the City Lyric Opera for Pauline Viardot’s production of Cendrillon. Also, knowing that you will continue your current role there next season, what are your expectations on that?

I have really adored working and collaborating with the folks at City Lyric Opera. This is a company that really cares about listening to the voices of all those working in the process, which makes for even better art for our communities. Assisting on the Viardot was a lovely experience, as it gave me the opportunity to work all parts of the musical process. That’s the really neat thing about Assistantships – you can work everything from preparing scores, to coachings, to contracting musicians– covering rehearsal, or in some cases a performance, is just the cherry on top! I was particularly lucky in the instance of the Viardot to work with my treasured colleague, and City Lyric Opera Music Director, Michelle Rofrano, with whom it is always a pleasure to collaborate! Next season with City Lyric, I will be assisting on the NY Premiere of Lori Laitman’s Uncovered and Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. I am quite looking forward to collaborating with each team and seeing where the artistic process takes us!

Read the entire interview here, in the 5th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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