Biography

Barry Hannigan is known for his performances throughout the United States and overseas.

His New York debut was in Carnegie Recital hall and his European debut was at the Edvard Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. Hannigan has performed in Russia, China, England, Ireland, Norway, and New Zealand, and he has appeared as guest artist at a host of American universities, such as UCLA, Yale, Cornell, and the Universities of Oregon, Colorado, Illinois, Arizona State, and Texas.

Festival and series performances include venues such as Real Art Ways in Hartford, the Syracuse New Music Society, Wildflower Festival, and Roulette in New York City. Hannigan is on the roster of Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and dozens of his performances have been aired on National Public Radio affiliate stations across the U.S. Hannigan performs each summer on the Music in the Mountains festival in Estes Park, Colorado, at Rocky Ridge Music Center. He is the recipient of many awards and prizes, including those from the Ford, Belin, Surdna, and Presser Foundations. For three years he toured Pennsylvania promoting works by living Pennsylvania composers, underwritten by grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has also received a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, an award intended to recognize “the nation’s outstanding recitalists.”

Hannigan has recorded for Opus One, SEAMUS, SCI, and Radio Telefis Eireann in Dublin, and has released three solo CDs for Black Canyon Records: Brio, Kaleidoscope, and Rachmaninoff to Ragtime Sample performances with orchestra include Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Variations with the Omaha Symphony and a chamber concerto written for him that was premiered with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Hannigan is professor of music at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA., where he has received the highest university award for “inspirational teaching.” His students have earned graduate performance degrees in piano at schools such as Peabody, Eastman, and the New England Conservatory.

Teaching Award

Each year a panel of faculty and administrators meets to decide upon three excellent teachers who are given Lindback Awards for teaching. The committee then selects one person from the 260-member faculty whose work exemplifies “inspirational teaching.” The prize is the university’s highest award, the Class of ‘56 Lectureship. The faculty member is expected to present a lecture to the campus and community on the nature of the person’s scholarly work as a part of accepting the award.

I was honored to be the 1990 recipient of the Class of ‘56 Lectureship. My project was a record of the process of learning Brahms’s Piano Pieces, Op.119. I recorded the piece once a week, every week, from the first rough sightreading to the final stages of memory and interpretation, culminating with a performance at the lecture. The lecture consisted of a discussion of the ways in which a piece is learned—from memory problems to interpretive choices. Taped examples of each stage were played to demonstrate how the piece changed during the process.

Honors

  • Selected to the roster of Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour
  • Class of ’56 Lectureship for inspirational teaching
  • National Endowment for the Arts: Solo Recitalist Grant
  • Three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Grants that supported three years of touring featuring music of living Pennsylvania composers. I commissioned works by composers Larry Nelson, Maurice Wright, Bruce Reiprich, Steven Block, and James Mobberley
  • Selected as outstanding alumnus of the piano division: recital for the centennial of the University of Colorado’s School of Music
  • McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase, Radio WQXR, New York City
  • Winner of competition for the Belin Scholarship, an $8000.00 prize
  • Harold Cook Award
  • Ford Foundation Composition Grant
  • Surdna Foundation Fellowship
  • Cowperthwaite Prize
  • Presser Foundation Scholarship
  • Bridges Memorial Scholarship
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Pi Kappa Lambda

“A persuasive advocate for an unusual bill of fare…he performed with security and a nice variety of touch…impressive leggero effects, a command of great crunches of sound, and a fine theatrical conclusion.”

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Will Crutchfield, New York Times