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Celebrating New Music for the Cello – New York Women Composers Spotlight: Jinhee Han

Featured Artist: Jinhee Han

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight Jinhee Han.

Jinhee Han

From her bio:

“Award-winning musician Jinhee Han is a NYC-based composer from a Seoul, South Korea. She holds a Bachelors degree and Masters degree from HanYang University and a Professional Studies Diploma from The New School, Mannes College, under the direction of Robert Cuckson.

As Han creates deep, emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges, she serves as Founder/Director for Asian Women Composers Association in New York City, where she collaborates with a variety of talented musical projects such as Lilac94, The Half Moon Project, Concrete Timbre, Cobalt, and more from various countries. She is a member of New York Composers’ Circle.

Her music has won multiple awards and premiered several original concert works in her hometown of Seoul, Korea, as well as in Israel, Ukraine, Kosovo, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, and all over the U.S.”

Featured Work: “We Cry” for unaccompanied cello

Han tells us:

“We Cry” for solo cello was inspired by an historic speech by Susan B. Anthony.


  • Title: We Cry
  • Composer: Jinhee Han
  • Instrumentation: unaccompanied cello
  • Movements: 3
  • Duration of Work: approximately 18 minutes
  • Number of Measures: 166
  • Number of Pages: 10
  • Tempo: Various. In the first movement, a quarter note is 56 to 64 in the first movement; a quarter note is 60 in the second movement; the third moment is the same tempo as the first movement plus a short Con Rubato at the end of the piece.
  • Difficulty Level: advanced
  • Highest Position Reached: thumb position
  • Techniques Employed: timbre-driven sections include playing behind the bridge “to create a shimmering sound”; harmonics; pizzicato; snap pizzicato; left-hand pizzicato; col legno; percussive fingering with the left hand (without bow or pizzicato); sound distortion through extreme bow pressure; finger-tapping on the body of the cello as a percussive sound (left and right hands); glissandi (with a piece of paper instead of the fingers to create a “grainy timbre”); upward and downward glissando in an estimated pitch range; strumming technique (like a guitar); double and triple stops
  • Publisher: Babelscores
  • Where to Purchase Parts and Score: direct link to purchase the score from Babelscores.
  • Cost of Score*: 8.50 Euro


This is the premiere performance by cellist Ji-Hwon Na, which took place at the Women Composers Festival of Hartford on 20 March 2021.

Program Notes

To symbolize diverse perspectives, each movement contains a different texture and timbre created by various techniques built on specific phrasing patterns. At the end of the piece, a C chromatic scale emerges from within a group of pentatonic statements, inferring the commonality that has power over our independent lives. We keep blooming from the basic foundation of our shared humanity.

The piece consists of three movements, which are titled

  • I. Keen for
  • II. Failure is impossible
  • III. We are blooming

How to Contact Jinhee Han

A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners of cello music find new favorites, too. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.