Get to know the Grossman Ensemble: Hanna Hurwitz, violin

Hanna Hurwitz, violin, in rehearsal

Grossman Ensemble violinist Hanna Hurwitz comes from a family of literary and performing artists. As a musician who equally enjoys performing classics of the repertoire as well as new music of our time, Hanna’s recent activities have included performances with Ensemble Dal Niente, Argento Chamber Ensemble, and Mivos Quartet. Additionally, she has been a guest artist and member of resident chamber ensembles at international festivals such as the SoundSCAPE Festival in Italy, the Valencia International Performance Academy in Spain, the Ritsos Project in Greece, and the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico.

Read below to learn about Hanna's experience in the Grossman Ensemble, her garden, and love of nature photography. 

What are you listening to/reading right now?

My commute to Grossman Ensemble rehearsals has actually become a favorite place to settle into whatever I am reading at the moment. I just finished reading Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, which I found touching and powerful. I also recently read Norse Mythology by Niel Gaiman, which I thought was entertaining and hilarious. These two books really highlight my penchant for fantastical fiction and short stories.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music?

I've recently learned that I enjoy gardening. For the past few summers and falls, I have been cultivating seasonal vegetable and herb gardens. I am learning a lot about tending to outdoor plants through the successes and failures of these gardens, and I am enjoying getting my hands dirty in the process. Nothing tastes better than a vegetable you've grown yourself!

What has being in the Grossman Ensemble meant to you?

When I think of the Grossman Ensemble, what comes to mind is the highest level of playing and musicianship, coupled with a sense of close community and belonging. I think that trust on and off stage is the secret ingredient to the success of the group. It means so much to me that I can count every ensemble member as a dear friend and trusted musical collaborator.

You’re a co-founder of the Zohn Collective. What is your favorite part of working with this group?

The Zohn Collective is a group of musicians and friends that perform projects centered around new music and interdisciplinary exchange. Many of us overlapped during our various degrees at the Eastman School of Music and have been performing together for over a decade. One of my favorite aspects of the Zohn Collective is our focus on collaboration across the arts. For example, we have worked with visual artists, videographers, puppet companies, and dance troupes.

If you weren’t a professional musician, what other careers would you have explored?

I have long been interested in how to harness the mind and body for optimal performance on and off stage. I have a minor in performance psychology that I pursued alongside the DMA and I think had I not gone into teaching and performing as a violinist, I would have pursued research in psychology. However, I also love animals, the natural world, and photography. Maybe in an alternate life, I could have been a nature photographer!