Presented by
Gallagher Bluedorn

Local Legends: Holman Lecuona Duo

Free and Open to the Public
March 25, 2021
8:00 PM

Cellist Hannah Holman along with pianist Dr. Réne Lecuona present a program of late romantic sonatas by women composers: Ethyl Smith, Henrietta Bosmans, and Dora Pejacevic.  Juicy amazing music, that deserves a prominent seat at the table.  

Hannah Holman

Hannah Holman, cellist, joined the New York City Ballet Orchestra at the beginning of the 2012-2013 season. Her career has encompassed orchestral and chamber music, solo performances, and teaching. In a review of the second CD she recorded with pianist Réne Lecuona, Fanfare magazine declares "her tone and technique are the stuff that cello legends are made of "... Holman's cello sings with a lustrous tone that's hard to resist."

In addition to her work with the New York City Ballet Orchestra, Ms. Holman is the principal cellist of the Quad City Symphony, a position she has held since 2008 and is super delighted to be named the new one year adjunct Cello Instructor at the University of Northern Iowa and Biola University for 2020-2021. She began her professional career in England playing with the English String Orchestra under Yehudi Menuhin and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Rattle. Her previous orchestral work also includes serving as assistant principal cello with the Michigan Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony; and the American Sinfonietta.

Hannah is fortunate to have a diverse career allowing much time for solo work.  In 2019, Hannah performed the Korngold Cello Concerto with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer Higdon's Soliquoy also with the QCSO, and with the Solomon Chamber Orchestra.  She is in the middle of a video project highlighting the lives of women cellists from the past, and performed six pieces with the Iowa City Community Chamber Orchestra, each piece  focusing on a different cellist.  She performed the 4th Cello Suite of J.S. Bach in Carnegie Hall on March 3, 2020 as part of the Bach Cello Suite Festival, celebrating 300 years of the cello suites.

An active chamber musician, Ms Holman helped found Trio 826, with her dear friends Susanna Klein, violin, and Julia Bullard, viola. She was a founding member of the Beaumont Piano Trio, which performed around the United States and England, and was also a founding member of Quadrivinium, a music ensemble in residence at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. From 2002-2011, she was a member of the Maia Quartet, the University of Iowa's quartet in residence, which toured China, Japan, and throughout the United States, including teaching residencies at Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Great Wall International Music Academy in China, and the Austin Chamber Music Center. She regularly performs in chamber ensembles with musicians from throughout the United States.

A dedicated private teacher who finds great fulfillment in helping students of all ages grow musically, Ms. Holman was on the University of Iowa music faculty from 2002-2012, and has served on the faculties of the Worcester College (UK), Michigan State University Community School, and Virginia Union University. She has participated in numerous festivals, and has been on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival since 2001 and currently serves on the faculty of the International Cello Institute, the Five Seasons Music Festival, and Taconic Music.

Ms. Holman studied at the Eastman School of Music and Michigan State University, where she completed her Bachelor of Music degree. She obtained her Master of Music Degree with Fritz Magg at the New England Conservatory. Hannah was fortunate enough to have several lessons with William Pleeth in London as postgraduate study. Her musical education began at age 5 with her grandmother, whose 1925 Becker cello she plays today. She is eternally grateful for the fine teaching of a transformative teacher, Louis Potter, during her junior high and high school years.

Ms. Holman - whose hobbies include food, wine, and finding killer deals on shoes - divides her time between NYC and Iowa City, Iowa, where she lives with her son, Matisse, and their cat, Ripley.  Please visit her at her website:

Réne Lecuona, pianist

Dr. Réne Lecuona is professor and co-chair of the piano area at the University of Iowa.

She has performed in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Scotland as well as throughout Latin America and the United States. Réne Lecuona earned undergraduate and master's degrees at Indiana University, and was awarded a Performer’s Certificate and a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. Her teachers have included Rebecca Penneys, Menahem Pressler, Edward Auer, Shigeo Neriki, Laurie Conrad, and György Sebök.

Réne Lecuona’s performances and recordings have received high praise: “Lecuona seems to lavish well-considered planning to every note she plays. Her control of the keyboard is amazing.” (Karl F. Miller, Fanfare Magazine, Nov/Dec 2019); “Lecuona plays it [the Boëllmann Sonata for Cello and Piano] with scintillating brilliance.” (Jerry Dubins, Fanfare 2015); “Pianist Lecuona’s playing was remarkable, and her dialoguing and interplay with the string players was exceptional” (Chantal Incandela: Nuvo, Indianapolis Arts); and “…Lecuona was the brightest star in the galaxy that night. She plays [Rhapsody in Blue] with such passion and fervor…” (Diana Nollen, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA 2018).

Lecuona co-directs the Piano Festival of the Americas, an intensive summer course which takes place alternately at the University of Iowa and Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia. Her students continue to garner successes, and hold faculty positions in Korea, Brazil, Colombia and in the United States. Although the Saarburg International Chamber Music Festival (Saarburg, Germany) and the Piano Festival of the Americas (Medellin, Colombia) were cancelled this past summer, she did join the faculty of the Interharmony International Music Festival (Misha Quint, director) and was a guest presenter at the International Piano Café (Svetozar Ivanov, director).

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