The Uncommon Music Festival is pleased to announce the winner of its 2019 Composer Competition, Ron Hannah, for his piece “Ruri, Ruri.”

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Ron Hannah was born in 1945 in Saskatchewan, and has resided much of his life in Western Canada. He is a pianist and clarinettist, and has studied various other instruments in order to be able to write effectively for them. In 2009 he returned to his homeland after several years of teaching English and backpacking in various parts of the world. At present he resides in Austria.

His interests are eclectic, ranging from travel and the sciences to wine, history, and Eastern philosophy. In 1969 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Alberta, and a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music degree (student of Violet Archer, Manus Sasonkin and Malcolm Forsyth) in 1973 and 1975 respectively. While a student, he met singer/director Andrea Mellis, and 40 years later (June 2013), married her. Before that happy event, he taught in public schools and helped raise two daughters by a first marriage. Composition has always been his passion however, and he continued to write even during the most trying days of parenthood and making a living. The result may be seen and heard at http:// He is a member of SOCAN (performing rights organisation), an affiliate of the Canadian Music Centre and of the Österreichisches Komponistenbund (Austrian Composers Association).

His works have been performed in Canada and internationally. One of his "Five Preludes for Organ" was presented during the 2015 London Festival of Contemporary Church Music; as was his 2-piano suite, "Dances for Camille", in Vienna, in June and December of the same year. Colchester New Music (Colchester, England) accepted his "5-Part re-Invention" for recorder quartet with harpsichord for performance in 2016, and his "Two Songs after Christine de Pisan" for soprano and harp, and "Primavera II", for 2 violins have also been recently premiered. More recently, his “Adagio for String Orchestra” was premiered by the State Chamber Orchestra of Armenia in November of 2017. Many of his works appear on CDs available through the Canadian Music Centre. He is also a reviewer, essayist and travel writer.

His catalog contains over one hundred compositions: choral, chamber, song cycles, orchestral works, ballets, and several operas and theatre pieces, the most recent being a musical depiction of the life of St. Gregory of Armenia, called "The Illuminator" - which was premiered in Yerevan in April of 2017 (Andrea Mellis was director and librettist). He prefers vivid and honest texts that are colourful in language and irreverent in tone. His music tends toward the conservative with a streak of Romanticism, a style that he describes as "dissonant pan-tonality", but elements of the atonal, of textural writing, of minimalism, and of randomness can also be found - with the unending intention of being understood and enjoyed by an audience. He has received commissions from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Alberta Choral Federation, the Anahit Foundation (Yerevan, Armenia) and many others.

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