Shanna Pranaitis fearlessly expands the realm of sonic possibility for her instruments through innovative performances and educational projects, in which she integrates new and historically reimagined works with electronics, movement, and other multi-disciplinary elements to create seamless, immersive concert experiences. She is interested in exploring ways to engage and involve a wider community in the process of experiencing music.
She travels the world regularly to perform and teach as a solo guest artist and with the chamber ensembles Memoria Nova and Collect/Project. She has performed and taught as a guest artist in Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, The Netherlands, South Korea, Mexico, Colombia, and the United Kingdom. An important part of this work is the close cooperation with living composers, poets, movement artists, and other interdisciplinary artists, around the world on the development of new work. She is the artistic director and co-founder of FluteXpansions, the first comprehensive e-learning platform for composers and performers to explore contemporary flute music and techniques.
Shanna has presented premiere performances of pieces written for her at such festivals as the Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL), Sonic Fusion Festival (UK), Darmstadt Ferienkurse (DE), International Computer Music Conference, and Omaha Under the Radar, among others. She has received numerous accolades for her performances including, prizes at the Stockhausen Courses, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, and New Music USA project grants. In 2017, she co-curated and co-organized the first multi-day festival of Galina Ustvolskaya’s music (Power In Sound) in the United States. She was previously a founding member of Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente, with whom she received the 2012 Kranichstein Prize for Interpretation.
Her debut solo recording Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf Flute Music was just released on NEOS. Previous releases include the album Mobile with guitarist Jesse Langen, featuring world premiere recordings of music by Fredrick Gifford, and the album SORI featuring works by Kyong Mee Choi for instruments and electronics. Current recording projects also include a solo disc of works for her Kingma open-hole bass flute.
Shanna has studied contemporary music under Matthias Ziegler, Camilla Hoitenga, Eva Furrer, Philippe Racine, and Kathinka Pasveer. Such has served as indispensable enrichment to her performance studies at the University of Michigan (Amy Porter) and Northwestern University (Walfrid Kujala), where she received her masters and bachelors degrees, respectively. Her formative training was guided by Monty Adams and Dolores Humberg, to whom she is deeply grateful. She was also a former fellow of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival. A passionate educator, Shanna is on faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago, and maintains an active private studio in the Chicago area. She is also certified to teach the Suzuki method having received her training from David Gerry and Kelly Williamson.
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