New Zealand-born flutist and educator Hannah Darroch is currently based in Montreal, Canada; teaching at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music while completing her Doctor of Music. With a dynamic blend of performance and teaching experience, her unique skill-set also includes a background in arts management and entrepreneurship.
As an orchestral musician, Hannah has held professional contracts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, and fellowships with orchestras in the United States including the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra in Arkansas. Hannah has played under international conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jacques Lacombe, Paul Daniel, Edo de Waart, Simone Young, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir James MacMillan, Pietari Inkinen, and Nicholas McGegan. She has played alongside international artists including Renée Fleming, Håkan Hardenberger, Andrés Cárdenes, and Diana Krall.
A seasoned professional in the recording studio, Hannah featured on piccolo, flute, and alto flute on the 2014 soundtrack to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Universal), and was the flutist on the 2012 premiere recording of Frank Ticheli’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated work Songs of Love and Life (Klavier Records), recorded in the United States. She can also be heard albums with the NZSO under Pietari Inkinen: Father and Son with Wagnerian tenor Simon O’Neill (EMI), and Lyell Cresswell’s Piano Concerto (Naxos).
Before relocating to Montreal in 2016 she was a Corporal in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band - an ensemble who regularly perform around the country in both concert and ceremonial settings. This position included concerto appearances, school and community outreach concerts, as well as performances for Charles, Prince of Wales; William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; and other dignitaries from around the world.
Hannah has recently appeared as a concerto soloist with the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble, and has toured to Ottawa, Toronto, and St John, New Brunswick with various chamber and large ensembles. She was a soloist in Boulez’ …Explosante Fixe… at the inaugural International Conference on Mixed Music Pedagogy in 2018, and performs as a regular free improviser with the Improvisation Workshop Project. Hannah also worked with the International Contemporary Ensemble as part of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity's Ensemble Evolution in 2019.
In 2020, upcoming engagements include a concerto appearance at the IRCAM Forum in April, a free improvisation clinic at the Jazz Education Network conference in New Orleans, and a ten-centre tour of New Zealand with Canadian guitarist Steve Cowan as touring artists for Chamber Music New Zealand.
Hannah is a recent graduate of the Global Leaders Program, an intensive 9-month program for 35 musicians from around the world. As well as gaining their Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Cultural Agency, Teaching Artistry, Civic Leadership, and Organizational Management, Hannah was also a recipient of the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Global Humanitarian Entrepreneur Prize (2018), awarded to the top four graduates from each Global Leaders Program cohort.
She received her Master of Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA in 2012, where she was a Teaching Assistant to Christina Jennings. She was a member of their resident Graduate Woodwind Quintet, who had success at the MNTA and Fischoff National Chamber Music Competitions. Before that, she completed a Bachelor of Music with First-Class Honours at the New Zealand School of Music, winning both NZSM Woodwind Player of the Year Award and the NZSM Orchestral Excerpt Competition.
Her main teachers have included Timothy Hutchins, Christina Jennings, and Kirstin Eade; and she has also had lessons and performed in masterclasses for flutists including Leone Buyse, Carol Wincenc, Jeffrey Khaner, Claire Chase, and Marianne Gedigian.
Hannah is in-demand as a teacher, recently giving guest classes in a range of locations worldwide, including at the New Zealand School of Music, Rothesay Netherwood School (New Brunswick, Canada), the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music (Australia), and Vive La Música Panguipulli (Chile).
Hannah has over twelve years of experience in music education. She is currently a course lecturer and flute and chamber music instructor at McGill University's Schulich School of Music, and has been a flute tutor at L’École FACE and Lower Canada College in Montreal. Before that she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and managed a private flute studio in Wellington, New Zealand for a number of years. She has been a touring educator for Chamber Music New Zealand, coaching high school ensembles preparing for the annual NZCT Chamber Music Contest, and has worked with the woodwind sections of numerous youth and community orchestras and bands, including the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.
Her research has appeared on many music feature programs for RNZ Concert, and in 2017 was chosen from hundreds of doctoral applicants across Canada to be featured in a podcast on CBC’s Ideas from the Trenches series on Ideas. In 2020 she will present in McGill University's Research Alive series, as the winner of the 2019-2020 Research Alive Student Prize.
Hannah has contributed to a number of New Zealand's national arts organizations. She was Radio New Zealand Concert’s Digital Content and Programme Producer and Chamber Music New Zealand’s Marketing and Communications Executive between 2012-2016. She has also worked in Development and Education with the NZSO, and recently carried out consultancy work for the board of Wellington Youth Orchestras. She also worked as a consultant to redesign Radio New Zealand Concert's publicity and partnerships strategy in 2016.
Passionate about reaching new audiences with classical music, Hannah launched Classical Sessions in 2016: a casual monthly chamber music experience at Tuatara's craft beer brewery The Third Eye, featuring Wellington's top professional and freelance musicians as well as ensembles touring New Zealand.