Hilary Hahn is no stranger to us, especially in the field of classical music and as a violin virtuoso. The top artist is in the spotlight for all the right reasons, surrounded by numerous recordings and concerts. Let us bring her world closer to you…
Who Is Hilary Hahn?
Born on November 27, 1979, in Lexington, Virginia, Hilary Hahn is an American violinist admired for her colossal technique and interpretative acumen. The award-winning violinist is considered one of the best violinists in the world, both as a soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and as a recitalist.
She began her first violin training at the age of three in the Suzuki Program of the Baltimore & Peabody Institute before she was taught by the legendary Klara Berkovich. In 1989, at the tender age of 10, Hahn was accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she became a student of Jascha Brodsky. When she was eleven years old, she made her major debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra before performing in major cities such as Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburg, and New York.
By the age of sixteen, she had already met her requirements for a bachelor’s degree in music at the Curtis Institute. She decided, however, to stay behind for many more years to take additional elective courses until her official graduation in May 1999 at the age of 19. During this period of self-delay, she taught violin with Jaime Laredo, studied chamber music with Felix Galimir, and signed her first record label with Sony Classical.
At the age of 21, Hahn appeared in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, where she talked about her early experiences with the violin and performed a solo and a duet. She was later named the best young classical musician by Time Magazine. Hilary Hahn, who has won two Grammy awards, has gained international recognition for her compelling song interpretations, her stand-up stage presence, and her commitment to a broad repertoire and newly commissioned music.
She has released 16 albums, and in addition, Hilary Hahn regularly performs with the world’s top orchestras in popular recital series in Europe, Asia, North and South America. The Higdon Concerto, commissioned by Hilary, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize.
Her most recent album is a recording of the violin sonatas of Charles Ives, an album she celebrated with a concert in John Zorn’s The Stone in New York City. Outside the classical world, Hahn has worked with Tom Brosseau, Josh Ritter, and Chris Thile. Although she made a name for herself early on when she performed some of the most popular works of the classical canon, she also earned a reputation as an advocate of contemporary music.
Hilary Hahn plays a Vuillaume violin from 1865, formerly owned by the Russian violinist Samuel Lande, who was a friend of Klara Berkovich, her first teacher.
Facts About Her Husband, Marriage, and Family
Hilary’s husband is Volker Bertelmann, a German master of the prepared piano. He is known in the vernacular and is known as Hauschka. Hauschka made a name for himself with his seven albums, which are prepared piano performances. Inspired by patrons of piano technology such as Eric Satie, John Cage, Max Richter, and Yann Tiersen, the German great has become a productive musician.
Hauschka has worked with several musicians, including Hahn. Their first album together was Silfra – the result of a collaboration that developed gradually and organically over more than two years. The couple met through the American folk musician Tom Brosseau in the Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland.
On Tom’s 2007 album Grand Forks, Hahn was a guest musician. At the concert, Brosseau made sure that Hauschka would be in the audience. The pianist and the violinist met briefly in a friendly atmosphere after the concert, cooperation was not discussed. A few weeks later Hauschka performed in San Francisco with Brosseau and the Magik*Magik Orchestra when the violinist joined them on stage. That was the beginning of their collaboration.
The collaboration between the two combines not only their different musical experiences but also their different approaches to music to create a creative and unique dynamic voice. The world has gained wonderful music as a result.
Hilary Hahn and Volker Bertelmann have two daughters in common – Zelda and Nadia.