Jonathan Hannau,

Jonathan’s growth as a composer is a testament to his ability to soak in and assimilate the artistic influences and ideas in the world around him.  He speaks of his studies at Roosevelt and DePaul as a nurturing laboratory in which he discovered and embraced a personal voice in writing music.

Even as a high school student Jonathan was shaping this voice, absorbing the writings of John Cage and György Ligeti and listening to music ranging from Rebecca Saunders to Sonic Youth.  From this it is no surprise that he writes of his music: “The biggest thing for me right now is the exploration of timbre in music and creating abstract and interesting landscapes through this idea.”  

With this voice he wishes to encourage audiences to use an open mind and begin to consider concepts and ideas that they may or may not be accustomed to hearing or experiencing.  A large part of his work towards this ideal is accomplished through his work with the Ursa Ensemble.

This group both stresses the social aspects of performance as well as challenges their audiences to think and interpret music in many different ways.  On his part, Jonathan writes that his collaboration with Ursa drives him to push himself as an artist and musician.  This atmosphere of talented creativity along with the diverse culture and thriving new music scene in Chicago continues to motivate and enrich his work as a composer.

Jonathan has been commissioned by ACM for the 2016 Sound of Silent Film Festival and the 2015 Open House Chicago project.