Hannah Duncan, a 17-year-old violinist from Belle Plaine, will perform Sunday (6/3) on NPR’s “From the Top,” with host Christopher O’Riley. The episode airs at 7 p.m. on Iowa Public Radio Classical.
The broadcast features performances and interviews with outstanding young musicians, and was taped before a live audience at the recital hall at San Francisco Conservatory of Music on March 4. The episode also is available by podcast at Fromthetop.org
The Young Artist Award helps young musicians with the high costs of studying classical music. Recipients must demonstrate exceptional musical ability, quality of character, and financial need. The award is supported by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
Duncan is a home-schooled senior. She began violin studies in 2004 and currently studies with John Schultz.
She has been a member of the Preucil School String Orchestra and Espressivo Strings, under the directions of Anthony Arnone and Doris Preucil at the Preucil School of Music.
She was selected as a member of the 2017 National Youth Orchestra of the USA and is the principal second violinist of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. She will be joining the National Youth Orchestra again this summer.
Since 2010, Duncan has performed annual concerts to benefit several charities, campaigns, relief funds, food pantries and public school music programs. She frequently plays at her local nursing home, museum and churches.
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Duncan has achieved many musical honors, all across the state of Iowa, placing in competitions and soloing with several of the orchestras, including the Central Iowa Symphony, Muscatine Symphony Orchestra, Iowa City Community String Orchestra, and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. She also has received the Education Grant from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation. For college, she plans to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music to study with Joan Kwuon.
On the “From the Top” broadcast, she will perform La Gitana by Fritz Kreisler, with O’Riley on piano.
Also featured on the episode are 18-year-old pianist Cameron Akioka from Palo Alto, Calif., performing: III. Allegro con brio, ma non leggiere from Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 29, by Sergei Prokofiev and Concert Etude No. 2 in F minor, “La Leggierezza,” by Franz Liszt; 15-year-old violist Sophia Valenti from Santa Rosa, Calif., performing “Rhapsodie” from “Suite Hebraique” by Ernest Bloch, with O’Riley on piano; 17-year-old guitarist Nicholas Padmanabhan from Palo Alto, Calif., performing Prelude and Gigue — Double from Suite in C minor, BWV 997, by Johann Sebastian Bach; 19-year-old composer Alistair Coleman from Bethesda, Md., presenting his composition “Images from Fallingwater,” as performed by San Francisco Conservatory of Music students Connor Dugas on flute, Andrew Friedman on clarinet, Ani Bukujian on violin, Stephanie Li on cello, Sohrab Bazargannia on percussion and Jungeun Kim on piano.
“From the Top” is America’s largest national platform celebrating the stories, talents and character of classically-trained young musicians.