MM, Thornton School of Music

A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2023, Ian Hallas has maintained a career as a versatile orchestral musician in the Chicago area after first joining the bass section of the Lyric Opera Orchestra in 2016 and later being appointed its principal bassist in 2019. He was also the principal bass for the 2022 season at Santa Fe Opera.

Hallas has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee symphonies and the Grant Park Orchestra. Hallas was an award-winning fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, being recognized with Tanglewood’s prestigious Maurice Schwartz Prize in 2013. He was also invited to be a guest chamber musician at Spoleto Festival USA, where he performed with the St. Lawrence Quartet and members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has also participated in several other summer music programs, including the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and the Domaine Forget Summer Music Academy.

As an educator, Hallas is on the faculty at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music and maintains a private studio in Chicago’s north suburbs. He also teaches at the National Music Festival and was a teaching assistant at the Double Base Workshop at BUTI.

Hallas holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction in research and creativity from Rice University, where he studied with Paul Ellison, and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, where he studied with David Moore. He has also been heavily influenced by bassists Chris Hanulik and Todd Seeber and has worked extensively with master luthier Mike Shank.