Principal Flute

Hannah Darroch

Hannah Darroch returned to New Zealand in 2020 to take up the position as Principal Flute of the CSO after four years living in Montreal, Canada, where she completed a Doctor of Music degree at McGill University and taught flute, chamber music, and orchestral excerpts to undergraduate and graduate woodwind students at McGill.

Her varied career has included orchestral and small ensemble playing in a range of genres – recent appearances include concertos at the International Conference on Mixed Music Pedagogy and the IRCAM Forum in Montreal, a free improvisation clinic at the 2020 Jazz Education Network conference in New Orleans, and an invitation to tour for Chamber Music New Zealand with her Montreal-based duo partner, award-winning guitarist Steve Cowan. She worked with the International Contemporary Ensemble as part of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Ensemble Evolution in 2019, and collaborated frequently with American percussionist and composer John Hollenbeck during her years in Montreal. She was recently awarded a grant from Creative NZ to commission and record four new works for flute and piano by NZ women composers.

As an orchestral musician, Hannah has been a regular guest player with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington for the past decade. Hannah can be heard on a number of NZSO recordings on Naxos, EMI, and Universal, including the 2014 soundtrack to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. She also features on the premiere recording of Frank Ticheli’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated work Songs of Love and Life recorded on Klavier Records in the United States.

Hannah is in-demand as a teacher, recently giving guest classes in a range of locations across Canada, the United States, South America, and Australia. Here in New Zealand she has been a touring coach for high school ensembles preparing for the annual NZCT Chamber Music Contest, and has worked with the woodwind sections of numerous youth and community orchestras and bands, including the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.

Hannah is a recent graduate of the Global Leaders Program, an intensive one-year program for 30 musicians from around the world. As well as gaining their Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Cultural Agency, Teaching Artistry, Civic Leadership, and Organizational Management, Hannah was also awarded the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Global Humanitarian Entrepreneur Prize.

She received her Master of Music from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2012, where she was a Teaching Assistant to Christina Jennings. She was a member of their resident graduate woodwind quintet, who had success at the MNTA and Fischoff National Chamber Music Competitions. Before that, she completed a Bachelor of Music with First-Class Honours at the New Zealand School of Music, winning both the NZSM Woodwind Player of the Year Award and the NZSM Orchestral Excerpt Competition.