Welsh-born composer, Hilary Tann, lives in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York where she chairs the Music Department and is the John Howard Payne Professor at Union College, Schenectady. Recent composer-residencies include the 2011 Eastman School of Music Women in Music Festival, 2013 Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and 2015 Welsh Music Center (Ty Cerdd). Her work has been supported by numerous organizations, including the Welsh Arts Council, New York State Council on the Arts, Hanson Institute for American Music, Vaughan Williams Trust, Holst Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and Meet the Composer / Arts Endowment Commissioning Music USA.
Praised for its lyricism (“beautiful, lyrical work” – Classical Music Web) and formal balance (“In the formal balance of this music, there is great beauty …” – Welsh Music), her music is influenced by a strong identification with the natural world. These two interests combine in her enjoyment of haiku (she is a published haiku poet) and in text selections from Welsh poets. A deep interest in the traditional music of Japan has led to private study of the shakuhachi and guest visits to Japan, Korea, and China. Her compositions have been widely performed and recorded by ensembles such as the European Women’s Orchestra, Tenebrae, Lontano, Marsyas Trio, Thai Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and KBS Philharmonic in Seoul, Korea.
beautiful, lyrical work
- Classical Music Web
music of great integrity, impeccable craft, and genuine expressive ambition
- Robert Carl, Fanfare 36:I
Her way of using space in her compositions is uncanny; even at a pause, one realizes that this pause is not there for effect, that it means something, and so one waits patiently for the music to resume. And one is never disappointed.
- Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare 36:I