Alana Shannon


Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Alma maters: Purchase College SUNY, Indiana University
Appearances: Purchase Symphony Orchestra, 2014-16; National Orchestral Institute, 2014; Round Top Festival Institute, 2011–13; Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, 2013–14; Terre Haute Symphony, 2013–14
Instagram: @alanamichiko
Musical origins: I grew up in a musical family and was always surrounded by musicians, and I was inspired to play the cello at age 7 after hearing family friend and SF Symphony cellist Larry Granger perform. He later became my teacher, and I have been playing his cello since he passed away several years ago.
Favorite piece to play: Anything by Shostakovich!
Favorite obscure piece: Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht
Favorite composer fact: Elgar first wrote the main theme to his cello concerto on a napkin after waking up from dental surgery.
Favorite musical memory: Playing for Janos Starker – never have I been so willing to breathe someone’s cigarette smoke.
Which composer would have had the best social media: Mozart
Favorite fact about your instrument: In the old days when women first started to play cello, they were required to play (or attempt to play) side-saddle because it was considered un-ladylike to sit with their knees apart.
Favorite non-classical band: The Beatles
Musical guilty pleasure: 90s pop
Best album to have on repeat: Snarky Puppy’s Family Dinner
Favorite non-musical hobby: Knitting/crocheting
Last book read: Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
Favorite painting: Hokusai’s Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
Time travel destination: The 1960s – to go to a Beatles concert!