10/27/2008

Hilary Hahn: Violin Artist

I came across Hilary Hahn when I was browsing for videos on YouTube. I downloaded several of her videos & I was entranced. She looks awfully young for her age (she's 29) but her talent & prowess with the violin is immense & breathtaking. Taken from her official site here:

Hilary Hahn was born in Lexington, Virginia. At the age of three she moved to Baltimore, where she began playing the violin one month before her fourth birthday in a local children's program. From age five to ten, she studied in Baltimore with Klara Berkovich, a native of Odessa who taught for 25 years at the Leningrad School for the Musically Gifted. From ten to seventeen she studied at Curtis with the legendary Jascha Brodsky - the last surviving student of the great Belgian violinist Eugene Ysa├┐e - working closely with him until his death at the age of 89. Though she completed the Curtis Institute's university requirements at age 16, Ms. Hahn deferred graduation and remained at the school for several more years, taking additional elective courses in languages and literature, coaching regularly with Jaime Laredo, and studying chamber music with Felix Galimir and Gary Graffman. In May of 1999, at the age of 19, Ms. Hahn graduated from Curtis with a bachelor of music degree.

She records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. She has released more than 10 albums. She is also the featured soloist in M.Night Shyamalan's "The Village" OST album. Highlights of Ms. Hahn's 2006-2007 season include recital tours in the United States and Europe, and apperances with many major orchestras around the world including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's (at Carnegie Hall), Houston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Tonhalle Orchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and KBS Symphony Orchestra of Korea. During a busy 2005-2006 season, she played recitals in cities including New York (Carnegie Hall), Salt Lake City, Boulder, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Warsaw, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Seoul, and Tokyo; and appeared with numerous orchestras including the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra.

Ms. Hahn plays a copy of Paganini's "Cannon" Guarneri, made in 1864 by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. Her strings are medium-gauge Thomastik Dominants (silver G and D; aluminum A) and a Pirastro Wondertone Gold E. She uses bows by French bow makers Paul Jombar and Emil Miquel and Liebenzeller Kolophonium Gold ll rosin.


Watching her play, there's that allure of innocence & determination to bring out the best emotions of the music. Her fingers are daft & quick, her concentration intense. A truly inspiring violinist, she's definitely one of the best ambassadors of violin & classical music today :)

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