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Biography

The son of South African dissidents, Hanno Strydom was born in Ireland and received his formative training from Christopher Marwood, cellist of the Vanbrugh String Quartet.  He completed his advanced studies with Steven Doane at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he was awarded the Performer's Certificate, and won the Eastman School Cello Concerto Competition.  After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in 2001, Hanno chose to remain at Eastman to complete graduate work as a Fulbright Scholar.

As a graduate student (2001-2003), recognition of his intense pedagogical interest led to his appointment as Professor Doane’s Teaching Assistant, affording him an opportunity to develop his passion for teaching, working with gifted young cellists from around the world.  In addition to completing his Master of Music degree during this period, Hanno also performed for two seasons with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as an Orchestral Studies Fellow, earning an Orchestral Studies Diploma.

Hanno gratefully acknowledges generous grants awarded by the Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholars Trust, the Fulbright Commission, and the Irish Arts Council, all of which facilitated his studies.

In addition to his work at Eastman, Hanno studied with many notable musicians in masterclass settings.  Notably, in 2004 he was admitted to Steven Isserlis' class at the International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove, in Cornwall, England—one of the world's premiere short course seminars.  He has also received chamber music coaching from members of such prominent ensembles as the Borodin Quartet, Emerson Quartet, Chilingirian Quartet, and Amadeus Quartet.

Hanno's performing activities have included concerto appearances with the National Symphony and Concert Orchestras of Ireland and the Eastman Philharmonia, recitals at Ireland’s National Concert Hall, and the Eastman School’s Kilbourn Hall, an invitation to play principal cello for World Youth Chamber Orchestra tours of Italy and Israel, and considerable chamber music involvement.  His concerto debut in Beethoven's Triple Concerto at age nineteen was praised by The Irish Times as a "conspicuous success" with Hanno Strydom having "made light work of the demanding cello part." Since moving to Minneapolis in 2008, he has performed in numerous chamber music collaborations with leading musicians from the Twin Cities, the Midwest region and beyond

Ever since he graduated from Eastman in 2003, Hanno has been a dedicated music educator, maintaining a thriving studio of students of all ages and levels. Shortly after his arrival in the Twin Cities in 2008 he joined the faculty of MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, the premiere music school in the area. He also runs his own private cello studio in Golden Valley.  He is a regular competition judge, both within MacPhail, and externallymost recently having fulfilled invitations to adjudicate at the MNSOTA Mary West Solo Competition, Thursday Musical, YPSCA Competition, WAMSO Young Artist Competition and St. Olaf Concerto Competition.

Always searching for a deeper understanding of the cello, and better approaches to teaching and communicating with his students, Hanno has developed his own left hand method, Master Your Fingerboard. In it, he presents a detailed analysis and theory of the cello fingerboard, explains the principles that govern fingering on the cello, and outlines a musical approach to developing left hand fluency in all registers.

Hanno is increasingly being recognized for his work with technology-based tools to enhance his teaching. In September 2012 he was appointed as a MacPhail Tech Mentor, serving on the MacPhail team that is tasked with designing and implementing MacPhail's strategy for technology-enhanced music learning. Hanno is a key 
architect and webmaster of the MacPhail Music Learning Lab, an initiative to enrich professional development and idea sharing among MacPhail faculty.

He lives in Golden Valley, Minnesota, with his wife, Nicole, his son, Ian, their two cats, and their miniature pinscher.  In addition to his musical activities he loves fishing, cooking, and taking trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Hanno's Cellos

Hanno owns two cellos. For several years now he has played exclusively on a modern instrument made in 2001 by the prominent US maker, Christopher Dungey, whose instruments are played by top cellists all over the country, including soloist, Lynn Harrell. Hanno also owns a beautiful nineteenth century cello by Carl Weis and Emil Hjorth. The Hjorth family is the leading family of Danish violin makers, whose firm, Emil Hjorth & Sons, is still operating in Copenhagen.

Sketch of Hanno Strydom by St. Paul artist, Ken Avidor. Mr. Avidor was in the audience and made this drawing during a live performance on December 10, 2016. He gave it to Hanno after the performance.