Hannah Rose Nicholas

A Philadelphia native, violist Hannah Rose Nicholas has been a soloist at the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Kennedy Center, the University of Texas, El Paso, the After Everything series in San Francisco, and the New World Symphony, where she was praised for her “rich tonal sonority” (South Florida Classical Review).


Since 2016, Hannah has presented concerts for the O, Miami Poetry Festival, collaborating with composers, visual artists, and poets from Miami, New York, Iran, Lebanon, and Armenia. Her own folk influenced compositions have been performed at the James Turrell Skyspace (Rice University), the Archway Gallery (Houston), and the New World Center.


Hannah currently performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Central City Opera Orchestra (principal), the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra (principal), and the Princeton Symphony. Previously, she was co-principal viola with the New World Symphony (2014-17). Chamber music highlights include concerts with members of Constantinople (Montreal), cellist Silver Ainomae, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, and an ongoing duo-collaboration with violinist-composer Layale Chaker.


Merging viola and voice, Hannah’s original songs and lyrics have been featured at Rittenhouse Soundworks (Philadelphia), on the O, Miami festival, and on her band’s self-titled EP, “The alt Default” (2017). Her band was a winner of the Knight Arts Challenge South Florida (2015-16) for their collaborative songwriting residency with middle-school students.


Hannah earned a Masters in Music from New England Conservatory, studying with Kim Kashkashian, an Artist Certificate in Chamber Music from San Francisco Conservatory, studying with Paul Hersh, and a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (Magna Cum Laude) at the University of Pennsylvania, where she recently joined the faculty of the College House Music Program.

Samuel Kelder

Described as “dynamic and committed” by the Boston Globe, violist Sam Kelder performs regularly in New England as guest artist with ensembles A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Guerilla Opera, Callithumpian Consort, Sound Icon, and various regional symphony orchestras including Cape Cod Symphony, Cape cod chamber orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Phoenix Orchestra Reborn, and the New Bedford Symphony. Kelder recently joined the Boston based string trio Sound Energy, an ensemble dedicated to searching for ways to push the traditional violin-viola-cello combination to represent the bold and daring voices of 20th- & 21st-century composers.

In addition to local projects, Kelder has also performed as the featured artist at Third Practice Electroacoustic Festival, as soloist at New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and as guest artist with the Arctic Philharmonic in Norway.


His studies yield a B.M. from the University of Houston, M.M. from Mannes the New School for Music, and graduated May 2017 from doctoral studies at Boston University as teaching assistant to Michelle LaCourse. Other major teachers and influences include Wayne Brooks, Karen Dreyfus, Kyung Sun Lee, Laurie Smukler, and Bayla Keyes.


Sam has had the great fortune to work with many prominent living composers such as Hans Abrahamsen, Derek Bermel, William Bolcom, Anthony Cheung, Chaya Czernowin, Zosha Di Castri, Péter Eötvös, Michael Finnissey, Luca Francesconi, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, John Harbison, Heinz Holliger, Philippe Leroux, Nico Muhly, Olga Neuwirth, Krzysztof Penderecki, Matthius Pintscher, Roger Reynolds, Joan Tower, and Eric Wubbles.


Sam can be heard on Not Art Records, and is an artist member of Music for Food, a musician-led initiative to fight hunger in our home communities