Tonya Lemoh

Research area: The Piano Music of Raymond Hanson

Raymond Hanson (1913-76) is regarded by music historians and critics as a composer of distinction and integrity with compositional skills of the highest calibre.

Hanson’s work remains obscure however, and is generally perceived as having been too radical for success in his own time, and too conservative for later generations to embrace.

My thesis sets out to challenge this perspective, and to re-evaluate Hanson’s compositional output for piano through a 21st century lens.

I will also explore the piano works of Hanson from a performer’s perspective, examining the interpretative challenges raised for the performer where little or no performance tradition and stylistic precedence exists for playing the works of a neglected composer.

Through audio recordings and performances, it will also serve to rectify any misconceptions about the quality of Hanson’s piano works based solely on the limited existing literature about it, as opposed to being based upon an actual hearing of the composer’s music so it can speak for itself.