Chatting to multi award-winning violinist Hannah Woolmer
- Credit: Archant
Hannah Woolmer is the leading independent classical violinist of her generation. A multi award-winning artist, she has toured globally, released two major recordings and is the founder of the Essex-based Woolmer Philharmonic Orchestra. Here Hannah talks to Kate Everett about her career and passion for making and sharing music
If fate hadn’t stepped in, Hannah Woolmer may have been a pianist. As it happens, for Hannah, who grew up in Stanford le Hope and now lives in Orsett, a chance encounter sowed the seed for her incredible classical career.
‘I had been learning the piano for five years when I visited the school my mum taught at and saw someone having a violin lesson,’ recalls Hannah. ‘I knew immediately that it was what I wanted to do. After that I didn’t stop practising and playing.
‘I got into the Essex Young People’s Orchestra, won the Junior Thurrock Music Competition and eventually got a scholarship to the London College of Music when I was 18.’
An award-winning career has followed, with performances at classical music venues all over the world, two critically-acclaimed albums and collaborations with some of the world’s leading musicians. Hannah’s latest project sees her use multi-media to ignite a wider audience with her passion for classical music.
‘I believe that music should be continually rejuvenated to breathe new life into it and make it accessible,’ says Hannah. ‘Of course we should celebrate the past, but we should be embracing the future, making new instruments and writing new music for a new generation.’
Hannah’s rapidly growing fan base can now interact with her in real-time through social media and online feeds as she writes, rehearses and performs.
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As one of the only classical violinists in the world to have an exclusively online career, music lovers can see Hannah perform in everything from ticketed online chamber concerts to webinars, blogs and tutorials on YouTube.
‘People connect from all over the world, and social media has a huge part to play in that,’ says Hannah. ‘I’m really pleased that my fastest growing audience is millennials and that I can share my own music and help to inspire the next generation.’
Hannah’s passion for sharing her art doesn’t end there. In 2013, she founded the Woolmer Philharmonic Orchestra (WPO), to bring world-class classical musicians to Thurrock. The WPO has since secured Arts Council and Heritage Lottery funding to deliver projects including a forthcoming exhibition on the composers of World War I.
Her latest solo project, The Four Seasons will see her release one of Vivaldi’s masterpieces for every season throughout 2018.
‘It’s my first ever fully interactive media project,’ explains Hannah. Each season I will be producing a piece of work, culminating in an album that will be released in November 2018.
‘I’m getting a bit more daring and thinking about what the seasons mean to me, so spring will have a pagan theme, with medieval instruments and acoustics.
‘Through live streaming, people can follow the whole process online and interact with me along the way as I create the album. It’s great to get feedback from so many people as I produce my work.’
Find out more
To find out more about any of Hannah’s projects, follow her on Twitter @HannahWoolmer. You can also connect with Hannah on her social media streams and tune in to her weekly show on Basildon’s Gateway Radio at 3pm every Sunday. For tickets to her performances, visit www.stageit.com/HannahWoolmer