Hannah Chan-Hartley

Last updated: August 1, 2023

Hannah Chan-Hartley is an exciting musicologist who specializes in communicating about music to audiences in rigorous, engaging, and innovative ways. Often acting as a bridge between the classical music industry and academic settings, she’s active as a writer, speaker, program book editor, content producer, and instructor with various organizations, including Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Detroit Opera, and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. In July 2023, she returned to the Verbier Festival as Musicologist-in-Residence at the invitation of the Verbier Festival Academy and UNLTD, a role she also had in 2018 and 2022. She was previously Managing Editor and Musicologist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Hannah is the creator of the award-winning, internationally acclaimed Visual Listening Guides (—a new kind of graphic listening guide for symphonic music. Since its initial development in 2015, hundreds of thousands in 22 countries worldwide have used and enjoyed the Guides—in print with concert programs in Canada, Australia, Finland, Singapore, the UK, and the USA; through talks and workshops including at the Verbier Festival; and as available individual publications online. Hannah wrote about the Visual Listening Guide for a chapter of The Oxford Handbook of Public Music Theory (2022), edited by J. Danny Jenkins.

Hannah holds a Bachelor of Music Honours in violin performance from McGill University, a Master of Philosophy in musicology and performance from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has performed professionally as an orchestral violinist and loves to play chamber music. Hannah’s research interests include the social and cultural history of music and music institutions, focusing on the Europe–North America transatlantic context from the 19th century to the present day, as well as the performance and reception history of opera and orchestral music, about which she has written and presented at major conferences.

Upcoming events