“Hahn has lifted the craft of violin playing to a plateau of consistent perfection that Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz and Igor Oistrakh might have struggled to attain. From her beloved Bach to repertoire so new that the ink is still wet on the page, she has established the gold standard for the 21st-century virtuoso. And at 30, you sense that her most characterful performances still lie in the future. It’s a mouthwatering prospect.”

BBC Music Magazine, London, October 2010

A Biographical Timeline

Hilary Hahn was born in Lexington, Virginia, USA, and moved to Baltimore in 1983, where she had her first violin lessons. In 1985, she began five years of study with Klara Berkovich who had taught at the Leningrad School for the Musically Gifted for 25 years before emigrating to Baltimore. In 1990, she entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to study with 83-year-old Jascha Brodsky, the last surviving student of Eugène Ysaÿe. Alongside her solo work and a deep interest in chamber music, she has also collaborated with non-classical musicians and can be heard as featured soloist on the soundtrack of M. Night Shyamalan’s film The Village, on the album Worlds Apart by Austin alt-rockers . . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, and on singer-songwriter-guitarist Tom Brosseau’s latest album Grand Forks.

Hilary Hahn plays on a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin from 1864.

1991 

Major orchestra debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

1992 

Begins full-time undergraduate studies at Curtis in music, liberal arts and foreign languages. Appears at the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival for the first time

1993 

European orchestral debut in Hungary with the Budapest Festival Orchestra

1994 

Debuts with leading American orchestras, including the Cleveland, New York Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony. European chamber-music debut in France at the Festival of Sully-sur-Loire, with future recital partner Natalie Zhu

1995 

Spends the first summer (of four) studying and performing chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival in the USA. German orchestral debut with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

1996 

First recording featuring solo Sonatas and Partitas by J. S. Bach is released. Carnegie Hall debut. Performs in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York

1998 

Recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Bernstein’s Serenade with the Baltimore Symphony under David Zinman is nominated for a Grammy®, and crowned with a Diapason d’or and Echo Award

1999 

Graduates from the Curtis Institute of Music with a bachelor’s degree. Orchestral debuts with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. Performs and records the Violin Concerto written for and dedicated to her by Edgar Meyer

2000 

BBC Proms debut at the “Last Night” in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Tours Japan with the Berliner Philharmoniker

2002 

Signs an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon and makes her first recording for the Yellow Label of four concertos by J. S. Bach with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jeffrey Kahane, released in 2003

2004 

Release of Elgar’s Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending with Sir Colin Davis conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. Concert appearances include the New York Philharmonic and the Cincinnati, Toronto and New Zealand Symphony orchestras. US and European recital tours with pianist Natalie Zhu

2005 

Recital tours of the US, Europe and Far East; European tour with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi” plus concert appearances including the Philadelphia and St. Paul Chamber orchestras, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra. Her release of Mozart Violin Sonatas with Natalie Zhu opens at no. 7 on the classical Billboard charts and also makes the German pop charts

2006 

Engagements include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco, BBC and Montreal Symphony orchestras, and the Cologne and Frankfurt Radio Symphony orchestras. Festival appearances include Aspen, Barbican (Mostly Mozart), Montpellier, Verbier and Tanglewood. Release of violin concertos by Paganini and Spohr with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Eiji Oue

2007 

Concerts in North America with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Chicago and the Montreal Symphony Orchestras. Concerts in Europe with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic. She performs with singer Josh Ritter at the Verbier, Aspen and Ravinia festivals. She appears with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel in a televised concert at the Vatican to celebrate the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI. DVD release: “Hilary Hahn – A Portrait”

2008 

Begins the year on tour in Europe with the Cologne Radio Symphony and Royal Scottish National orchestras. Japan tour with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Concerts with the San Francisco Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington. Concerts of Bach in Germany, with Christine Schäfer and Matthias Goerne. Her recording of violin concertos by Sibelius and Schoenberg with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen brings Hilary Hahn a Grammy® and she is named Classic FM Gramophone “Artist of the Year”

2009 

Gives the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto. Concerts include Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with the Wiener Symphoniker, the Glazunov Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 5 with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Extensive recital tour with pianist Valentina Lisitsa to Japan, South America, the US and throughout Europe

2010 

The year begins with further performances of the Higdon Concerto with the Nashville and Detroit Symphony orchestras. Other engagements include a tour of Japan with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra; European tours with the Royal Scottish National and New Zealand Symphony orchestras; European tour of Bach for violin and voice with soprano Mojca Erdmann, baritone Matthias Goerne and the Munich Chamber Orchestra; Salzburg Festival with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester; concerts with the Boston, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Cincinnati, Utah, Oregon, Stuttgart Radio and Iceland Symphony orchestras as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. Released this year: an album of Bach for violin and voice – a musical collaboration with Christine Schäfer and Matthias Goerne featuring selections from oratorios and cantatas

2011 

Asia tour with the English Chamber Orchestra; Concerts in Germany and Poland with the NDR Radiophilharmonie of Hanover; performances include the Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Gewandhausorchester, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, and the Baltimore, Alabama and Curtis (in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall) Symphony orchestras; recitals across North America, Japan and Europe, most featuring the Violin Sonatas of Charles Ives with pianist Valentina Lisitsa. This year’s releases: the Violin Concertos of Tchaikovsky and Jennifer Higdon (world premiere recording of this Pulitzer Prize-winning work), with Vasily Petrenko conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ives Violin Sonatas with Valentina Lisitsa

2012 

Plans include UK tour with the Salzburg Camerata; concerts with the Berlin Staatskapelle, Montreal, Pittsburgh and San Francisco Symphony, Spanish Radio and Television, Royal Scottish National and Iceland Symphony orchestras; recital tours

7/2011

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