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Pauline Lerner

For Hilary Hahn Fans

April 7, 2006 at 9:15 AM

I’m a big fan of Hilary Hahn. I love the way she plays the violin, of course, but there are more great things about her. I love her reviews and descriptions of music and recordings. I love listening to her commentary on the DVD Art of Violin. She sees and hears so much in the violinists’ performances which I might overlook without her. She really enjoys and respects the contributions of a wide variety of violinists. You can see the awe and wonder in her face and hear them in her voice as she talks. Her website is a joy every time I visit it. She is very talented as a writer, photographer, and educator. She was a prodigy, and she has maintained strong ties with children. Her website includes “fan art,” pictures that kids have made for her. She likes to go into schools and talk to the children about music. Years ago, she sent postcards to kids in schools about her experiences as she traveled around the world to give concerts and make recordings. Now she posts her journal on her website. She describes herself as a “nomadic musician – a modern troubadour.” Her writing is very engaging. She has so many interesting insights about life in all the places she goes. She comes across a very down-to-earth person with a good sense of humor and a great zest for life.
I was excited as soon as I read the latest news about her in an e-newsletter from Deutschegrammophon, the company that produces and sells her recordings. In a new CD scheduled for release in September, 2006, she plays the Paganini Concerto #1 and the Spohr Concerto #8. She says, “The Spohr is not performed very often anymore, but up until the middle of the 20th century, it was a very popular concert piece. Anyone who was a touring violinist would have presented it in both concerto evenings with orchestra and recital programmes with piano. I’m not sure why it fell out of fashion. It’s a fun piece to play and really should be heard more often. The lyrical, operatic quality of the slower sections and the humorous, vivacious virtuoso passages mix to create a concerto with a distinct personality.” There is still more good news. Her first DVD will be released this coming fall. It is described as “a road-movie-style portrait depicting the American violinist's world on and off the stage.” This is a logical extension of her e-journal. We Hilary Hahn fans have some great things to look forward to.

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