Vanessa Lann

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Vanessa Lann
Born (1968-04-06) April 6, 1968 (age 50)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, US[2]
EducationTanglewood Institute
Royal Conservatory of The Hague
Alma materHarvard University
Summa Cum Laude 1990[3]
OccupationComposer, pianist
Years active40+ years
EmployerWebster University[3]
StyleContemporary classical
AwardsJohn Knowles Paine Award[1][4]
Bohemians Prize,[3]
Hugh F. MacColl Prize[3]

Vanessa Lann (born April 6, 1968, Brooklyn, New York) is an American composer living in the Netherlands.[5][2]

Lann is known for contemporary compositions for underutilized instruments such as the bass clarinet,[6] bassoon[7][8] and toy piano.[9] Her compositions have been broadcast on radio,[10] recorded on compact discs,[6] and performed in music festivals in Europe and North America. She has written numerous types of compositions, including concertos and operas.[11] In 1990, she was musical director at the American Repertory Theater.[12] Reviewer David Toub described her music as "expertly performed".[13] The New York Times music reviewer Allan Kozinn described her composition Is a Bell ... a Bell? as a "propulsively rhythmic score" which was charming with its use of two toy pianos to bring out "different timbral qualities."[9] Music reviewer Jed Distler described her compositions as "gracious keyboard writing and humor."[14] Dutch music critic for the daily newspaper de Volkskrant, Frits van der Waa, has reviewed her music on numerous occasions. He described her hour-long opera The Silence of Saar in 2013 as an "endless series of mind-numbing variations."[15] He described her music in 2005 as "intense but sweet juicy tension,"[16] and her composition for the Delft Chamber Music Festival in 2007 as "beautiful."[17]

Selected compositions[edit]

  • moonshadow sunshadow[18]
  • Lullabye for a young girl dreaming[19]
  • O Whispering Suns[20]
  • The Silence of Sarah[15]


  1. ^ a b Hi961 Music (Netherlands radio), Vanessa Lann[permanent dead link], Retrieved Aug. 17, 2014, "...Vanessa Lann (born april 6, 1968 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American composer, who currently lives in The Netherlands...In 1990 she received the John Knowles Paine Travelling Fellowship .."
  2. ^ a b Frits van der Waa, December 13, 2005, de Volkskrant, Chazan singing and tickling 'blue notes'[dead link], Retrieved August 18, 2014, "...Composer Vanessa Lann, .. Lann was born in New York"
  3. ^ a b c d Contributions of Jewish Women to Music and Women to Jewish Music, Vanessa Lann Archived 2013-11-04 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved August 17, 2014, "...American. Composer. b. Brooklyn, New York, April 6, 1968..."
  4. ^ 1990, Harvard University Department of Music, Undergraduate Fellowships 1990–present Archived 2014-05-06 at the Wayback Machine., "...1990... Vanessa Lann received the John Knowles Paine Traveling Fellowship to study composition at the Koninklijk Conservatorium of The Hague..."
  5. ^ Frits van der Waa − September 18, 2006, de Volkskrant, (in Dutch) Rondgang van orkest tot aan Paard van Troje, Retrieved August 18, 2014, "...Amerikaanse componiste Vanessa Lann ..."
  6. ^ a b A Compact Disc Recording of Four Contemporary Works for Clarinet by American, Mindy Marie Pyle, Proquest publishers (2008), Interview: Vanessa Lann, Retrieved August 17, 2014, See chapter 5 page 31
  7. ^ January 23, 2014, Muziekgebouw (Netherlands), Sinfonia Rotterdam, Retrieved August 17, 2014, "...The American-Dutch composer Vanessa Lann writes a new bassoon concerto for the acclaimed bassoonist Bram van Sambeek and Sinfonia Rotterdam..."
  8. ^ January 18, 2014, Fagotnetwerk, Discount Network members Bassoon bassoon concerto world premiere Vanessa Lann, Retrieved August 17, 2014, "..Dutch composer Vanessa Lann third Rotterdam Concerto for the renowned bassoonist Bram van Sambeek. That Vanessa Lann ... concerto for a less common solo instrument..."[not in citation given]
  9. ^ a b Allan Kozinn, September 29, 2006, The New York Times, Playing With a Lot of Toys, but for a Serious Purpose, Retrieved August 17, 2014, "..Vanessa Lann’s Is a Bell ... a Bell? (2004) is a propulsively rhythmic score, but its real charm is its use of two toy pianos with different timbral qualities to suggest orchestration, of a sort. ..."
  10. ^ Broadcast Live on ABC Classic FM, 30 April, Musica Viva Festival 2011, Retrieved August 17, 2014, "...Vanessa Lann Springs Eternal (2007).."
  11. ^ Dordrecht February 18, 2013, Opera Magazine, "De Stilte van Saar in wereldpremière" (in Dutch), Retrieved August 17, 2014, ".. . En de opera zelf, die de Amerikaanse componiste Vanessa Lann schreef op een Nederlandstalig libretto van Erik-Ward Geerlings.." [the opera itself, which the American composer Vanessa Lann wrote on a Dutch libretto by Erik-Ward Geerlings]
  12. ^ Kelly A. E. Mason, April 20, 1990, The Harvard Crimson, Forming Female Bonds, Performing the Bard, Retrieved August 17, 2014, "..The women cast as men in As You Like It also had a few problems with the Renaissance songs featured in the play, says musical director Vanessa Lann..."
  13. ^ David Toub, Sequenza21, September 2006, Piano Music by Women Composers, Retrieved August 17, 2014, "...this album ... very nice compilation of expertly-performed music by a good selection of female composers. On this album, we find music by the well known (Meredith Monk, Sofia Gubaidulina) and the less well known (Vanessa Lann, ..)"
  14. ^ Jed Distler (music reviewer), Classics Today, Don't Panic! 60 Seconds for Piano, Retrieved August 17, 2014, "....What are my favorite pieces? ... the gracious keyboard writing and humor of Vanessa Lann’s DD (Double D)..."
  15. ^ a b Frits van der Waa (music reviewer), February 25, 2013, de Volkskrant, "Review: The silence of saar", Retrieved August 17, 2014, ".. The Silence of Saar, a new half-hour opera by composer Vanessa Lann and libretto ... endless series of mind-numbing variations..."[dead link]
  16. ^ Frits van der Waa, 14 December 2005, de Volkskrant, Chazan singing and tickling 'blue notes', Retrieved August 18, 2014, "...intense but sweet juicy tension..."
  17. ^ Bela Luttmer, August 2, 2007, de Volkskrant, "You really want to deliver something beautiful", Retrieved August 18, 2014, "...Vanessa has a piece written especially for me ... She was immediately excited and started working..."
  18. ^ July 28, 2014, Delft Post, Opening Delft Chamber Music Festival Archived 2014-08-19 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved August 17, 2014, " premiere "Moonshadow Sunshadow" Vanessa Lann..."
  19. ^ 2014, Radio 4 The Netherlands, [1], Retrieved August 17, 2014, "...The American-Dutch composer Vanessa Lann ... Lullabye for a young girl dreaming"
  20. ^ September 18, 2011, Radio SRF 2 Kultur, "Konzert: Vanessa Lann, O Whispering Suns (UA)", Retrieved August 17, 2014, ".. Shared pain is not necessarily a problem halved, but one understands the pain of others better. The composer Vanessa Lann says about her piece O Whispering Suns, 'people singing together to hear each other.' ..."

External links[edit]