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Hannah Lash’s Total Internal Reflection Debuts at Great Lakes and Aspen Music Festivals

Jun. 03, 2013

Hannah Lash’s <em>Total Internal Reflection</em> Debuts at Great Lakes and Aspen Music Festivals

Hannah Lash sees multiple performances of her music across the US in the coming months as the major summer festivals get under way. First up is the world premiere of her new string quartet, Total Internal Reflection, on June 11 and 12 at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival by the Jupiter String Quartet.  The quartet was co-commissioned for the Jupiter String Quartet by the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival and School. The Jupiter perform the work in recital again at the Aspen Music Festival on July 18.

"Total Internal Reflection," a term used in physics, describes a phenomenon where light is reflected back upon itself rather than passing through a medium boundary. Lash elaborates on the inspiration for the work:

I used the term “Total Internal Reflection” as a title for my string quartet because it was evocative of how I imagine my process of writing, especially in the way I relate to music of the past... I imagine myself within my own present, aiming my creative angle at the past in such a way that my materials will bounce back to me totally. They have come in contact with the medium boundary, but they must come back still my own: a look within myself via my own light source, bounced back at me by my experience of the music I know and admire so deeply.

Additionally this month, Orlando Cela leads the Governor’s School of North Carolina in a performance of Lash’s Music for Loss. Composed following the death of her father, Music for Loss is a beautifully detailed work for orchestra that exemplifies the crystalline webs characteristic of Lash’s music. The performance takes place at Salem College's Hanes Auditorium on June 28 in Winston-Salem, NC.

Hannah Lash was recently named Assistant Professor of Composition at the Yale School of Music.

For more information on Hannah Lash please visit

To learn more about the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival programs, go to

Information on the Aspen Music Festival and School programs can be found at

Hannah Lash
Total Internal Reflection
for string quartet

Music for Loss (2011)
for orchestra, vib, tam-t, brake d)-hp.cel-str