Hannah Watson grew up in Peoria, Illinois, in the middle of the corn and soybean fields of the Midwest. She began piano lessons at the age of 5 and after two years, added violin lessons at the age of 7. Her love of music grew over her early years, and at the age of 15, Hannah realized that her attachment to music and specifically the violin, was pulling her towards a career in music. During her Senior year of high school, she won both the Senior Solo Competition with the Central Illinois Youth Symphony and the Young Artist Competition with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra which led her to debuting as soloist with both orchestras.
Hannah attended Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music for her undergraduate degree in performance, studying with Kathleen Winkler. Hannah’s time at Rice was rich with opportunities such as being part of a grant-funded outreach quartet for two years, and performing a chamber music concert with Shepherd School faculty. She also coached with renowned artists such as James Dunham, Paul Ellison, Norman Fischer and Ivo Van-der Werff.
Upon graduating Magna Cum Laude from Rice, Hannah went on to complete her Master of Music degree at Indiana University, studying with Jorja Fleezanis. During her time at Indiana, Hannah found her place in leadership roles in the orchestral program including serving as a rotating principle violinist and as orchestra manager. In addition to her performance focus, she also completed a secondary concentration in String Pedagogy, working closely with Brenda Brenner and Mimi Zweig. During her time at IU, she also served as an Assistant Instructor of Violin.
Over her years of study, music has led her to acclaimed Summer music festivals all over the United States and abroad, such as the Beijing International Music Academy, Round Top Music Festival, Mimir Chamber Music Festival and the Spoleto Festival.
Hannah currently lives in Houston, Texas, where she enjoys a diverse career in music, in which she enjoys mentoring the next generation of violinists and maintains an active performing schedule in Houston and surrounding cities. She performs with ensembles such as the Houston Grand Opera, the Austin Symphony and Austin Opera.
Hannah is married to her college sweetheart, Daniel Watson, and they are both obsessed with their adorable chocolate lab mix, Molly.