Shannon Hayden is a classically trained cellist who has never been content to stay strictly within the confines of the traditional course of study. Having achieved early success in competitions both at home and abroad she quickly began to experiment with other forms of music as well as other instruments. Working with renowned cellists such as Janos Starker and Aldo Parisot, with whom she began a graduate level course of study at the age of 18 at the Yale School of Music, did not keep her from playing lead guitar in rock and experimental bands or writing music for electric cello. She feels that musicians who want to consider themselves artists should go beyond mere craftsmanship and constantly look to expand the repertoire of their instrument, fulfilling the needs of the era within which they actively participate. When not performing her own pieces, Shannon focuses on 20th century and contemporary works and has enjoyed working with composers Ezra Laderman, David Lang, percussionist/composer Andy Akiho and tours occasionally with Eric Genuis. Having completed her studies she is currently supporting her first album with shows around the United States and hopes to meet other artists with similar interests whose focus is continuing to stretch the boundaries of virtuosic classical music by embracing technologies which she feels are underutilized. Shannon also shares her parent’s passion for sustainable living and alternative energy and spends as much time as she can at the family's off the grid organic vegetable farm.
"Still in her early 20s, this classical cello/guitar virtuoso composes and performs a visionary fusion of classical and electronic that is stunning and mind-expanding. Shannon records off-the-grid with wind and solar power at her family’s organic farm in central Illinois. If you get a chance to see her live, go!"
Jim Manion, WFHB Radio Music Director
From a performance of David Lang’s “Pierced” at Yale University Sprague Hall
“…but the star turn was Shannon Hayden’s spectacular cello playing in David Lang’s punishingly intense Pierced for three soloists plus strings, offering the piece all the style and brawn it deserves.”
-David Stephen Johnson of the New Haven Advocate
“Shannon Hayden, 22 years old, is an extremely talented cellist, guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. She combines both classical and electronic cello into one uniquely organic and smooth sound. She started playing the cello at the age of seven and has not stopped since. Shannon’s unique and hauntingly beautiful sound comes from her recording studio in Martinsville, IL which dually functions as a family owned, self-sustaining organic farm.”
“She can do anything with the cello, but what will it be?”
- Janos Starker
WFHB Radio Interview - click to stream or download
From a performance at Observatory Studios in Chicago
“…She had a cello, a guitar, some pedals, a bell and her voice and she used them all to make such full, elaborate music. And while most of us would look at the difficulties in being a one-man band, Shannon used that as an opportunity to be original.”
- F-Stop Poetry