Steven Graff

Steve Graff

Since his concerto debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has appeared nine times, the Chicago-born pianist Steven Graff has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards and glowing critical praise. None of these accolades could match the appreciation of Canterbury Choral Society, which is fortunate to have a pianist of such flair accompany us at rehearsals for the last ten years.

Steve is at home on stage, over the airwaves and in the classroom. His appearances on the Nickelodeon Channel and the QE2 enlightened audiences with his interpretive performances, and recent tours of Norway, Japan, Italy, Israel and in cities across the U.S. have thrilled music-lovers everywhere.  Please visit his website for his current solo performance calendar and news about CD releases.

A sought-after recitalist and chamber musician, Graff has performed at Weill, Zankel and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Lang Recital Hall and the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, Merkin and Alice Tully Halls in New York City and his performances have been broadcast on New York radio stations WQXR and WNCN, and Chicago's WFMT.

Steven Graff studied at The Juilliard School where he received Bachelor's and Master's Degrees as a Petschek scholarship awardee, and holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from The Graduate School of CUNY.  He currently serves on the faculty at New York's Hunter College and at The Macaulay Honors College of The City University of New York, and is a Steinway Artist.

Hannah Speirman

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Soprano Hannah Spierman has garnered consistent praise, both for her vocal beauty -- her voice has been described as “a sweet, true soprano of an English-horn-like quality that [falls] most gratefully on the ear" -- as well as for her compelling stage presence. As Tormentilla in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ rarely-performed 20th-century opera The Poisoned Kiss with the Bronx Opera, she was lauded for offering “a bright characterization and some delightfully quirky line readings", and for her “conviction and comedy" and for portraying “a three-dimensional human being." 

A frequent performer with the Bronx Opera, Hannah has also appeared with the company as Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of FigaroMusetta in La bohèmeDonna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Sandmanin Hansel and Gretel, and Inez in the New York premiere of Die drei Pintos, a work begun by Carl Maria von Weber and completed by Gustav Mahler. 

Other New York-area appearances include the title role in Gilbert & Sullivan's Princess IdaAlice Ford in Falstaff, and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Utopia Opera; Giorgetta in Il tabarroNella in Gianni Schicchi, and Mimì in La bohème with Long Island's North Shore Music Festival; First Lady in The Magic Flute and Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel with Amore Opera; La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and Javotte in Manon with the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble; and concert performances as Donna Elvira with Opera Company of Brooklyn, Micaëla in Carmenwith Sing Through Central, and the Second Spirit in Dido and Aeneaswith the New Jersey Oratorio Society. Hannah has also performed regionally throughout the United States, most recently as Praskowiain The Merry Widow with the Northern Lights Music Festival in Minnesota's Iron Range; as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figarowith Opera Breve in Wichita Falls, Texas; and as Giorgetta in Il tabarro with Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival in the Poconos.

On the concert stage, she has recently performed as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Garden State Philharmonic; Messiah and Bach's Magnificat with the Central Presbyterian Chorale; Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Music at Christ Church, Oyster Bay; Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Orchestra of the Bronx; and Schumann’s Requiem für Mignon with Collegium Westchester. Hannah was also honored as the recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts’ BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Award. 

A graduate of the New England Conservatory, Hannah has been in demand as a soloist in both traditional and modern classical music. In Boston, she sang the American premiere of Israeli composer Osnat Netzer's acclaimed song cycle “Light Night Songs" and was featured as The Tourist in Robert Zimmerman's concert opera 9/11 Soliloquies; in New York, she sang excerpts of the title role in Elliot Encarnación’s new opera Lilith in concert at the Manhattan School of Music. 

Hannah was born in California, spent her formative years in Vermont, and currently resides in The Bronx with her husband and frequent artistic collaborator, stage director Benjamin Spierman.