Hans Bilger is a bassist, songwriter, and composer from Brooklyn, NY. The eldest in a musical household, he spent his childhood playing folk and country gospel in a family band. The experience colored his later studies of improvised, classical, and experimental music. His mentors include the bassists Greg Cohen (Ornette Coleman, Laurie Anderson, Tom Waits), Samuel Suggs (Concert Artists Guild), Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), J.A. Granelli (Mr. Lucky), Axel Scherka (Staatskapelle Berlin), Kurt Muroki (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), and others.
Bilger moved to Austin, TX in 2016, where he quickly became a sought-after sideman and session bassist. Recent projects include recordings with Eli Greenhoe, Odell Fox, R.O. Shapiro, Jenner Fox, Micah Motenko, and Will Taylor. Meridian, Bilger’s debut solo album, was released this September by Good Child Music. Bilger is also the composer-in-residence for Cora Dance. He developed original scores for 2018's gifts and Elsewhere, which opens this October. He is currently scoring Cora's new work-in-development, Grove, which premieres in 2020.
Bilger is also fascinated by the natural world. While studying evolutionary biology at Yale University, he co-authored a study on musical structure in birdsong with the ornithologist Richard Prum and wrote Aviary, a piece that uses songbird songs as raw material for a series of improvisatory and through-composed movements. Last fall, he joined the labs of Julia Clarke and Michael Ryan at UT Austin to start a Ph.D. on the evolution of vocal communication in birds, bats, and frogs. His scientific work is supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and UT Austin.
Bilger currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where he splits his time between writing, performing, and CT-scanning bat larynges at the Museum für Naturkunde.