Violinist Hannah MacLean is in her first year with The Venice Symphony. She grew up in Illinois and in the Middle East (Egypt, UAE, and Lebanon) as the family moved with her father’s teaching career. She began playing piano at age 4, but waited until she was six to pick up the violin. She played the violin all through her school years, attended Wheaton College in Illinois, McGill University in Montreal, and just completed her doctorate in violin performance at Florida State University. Last year, she won FSU’s Doctoral Concerto Competition and performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the FSU Symphony Orchestra in February 2022.
Hannah believes that her many mentors were crucial in her success as a professional musician. “I am so grateful to the wonderful and inspirational teachers and mentors I have had in my musical education.” Hannah has performed in summer festivals in Maine, Chicago and Québec and just last spring gave a chamber recital at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall alongside pianist Iris Cheng.
Hannah said her highlight so far this season was playing Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from
West Side Story at the Cinematic Romance concerts. “The piece has so many magical themes that stay in my head after rehearsals. And the rhythms keep all of us musicians on our toes!”
When she is not performing or practicing, Hannah says she loves to hike and be in nature. Every year she takes a camping trip with her family. One of her favorite destinations was Glacier National Park in Montana. She also enjoys traveling and sampling food from all over the world, and Lebanese food holds a special place in her heart.
Hannah lives in Tallahassee but travels often, performing with multiple orchestras around Florida. Recalling how important those mentors were to her, Hannah is now a mentor herself, teaching “wonderful” students in Tallahassee and coaching violin sectionals and chamber music for the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra