Hilary Hahn is no stranger to us, especially in the area of classical music and violin virtuoso. The top artist has been in the spotlight for all of the right reasons, sandwiched by multiple recording performances and concertos. Let’s take you closer to her world…
Who Is Hilary Hahn?
Born on November 27, 1979, in Lexington Virginia, Hilary Hahn is an American violinist admired for her colossal techniques and interpretive acumen. The award-winning violinist is regarded as one of the best in the world, both as a soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and as a recitalist.
At the age of three, she began her first set of training in violin at the Suzuki Program of Baltimore & Peabody Institute before being tutored by the legendary Ms. Klara Berkovich. In 1989, Hahn got admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at the tender age of 10; there, she became a student of Jascha Brodsky. By the time she was eleven, she made her major debut at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, before performing in bigger cities like Philadephia, Cleveland, Pittsburg, and New York.
At sixteen, she had already completed her requirements for a Bachelor degree in Music at the Curtis Institute. However, she chose to stay back for many more years so as to pursue further elective courses until her official graduation in May 1999 at the age of 19. During this time of her self-delay, she coached 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 on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, discussing her early experiences with the violin and performing a solo and a duet. Later, she was declared the Best Young Classical Musician by Time Magazine. Hilary Hahn who has been awarded the Grammy twice gained international recognition for her compelling song interpretations, stand-up stage presence, and commitment to a wide range of repertoire as well as newly commissioned music.
She has released 16 albums and in addition to that, Hilary appears regularly with the world’s top orchestras on popular recital series in Europe, Asia, North and South America. The Higdon concerto which Hilary commissioned, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.
Her most recent album is a recording of Charles Ives’ violin sonatas, an album she celebrated by staging a concert at John Zorn’s The Stone in New York City. Outside the classical world, Hahn has collaborated with Tom Brosseau, Josh Ritter, and Chris Thile. Though she made an early name for herself while performing some of the popular works in the classical canon, she also built a reputation as a champion of contemporary music.
Hilary Hahn plays an 1865 Vuillaume violin that was 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 prepared-piano. He is popularly known and referred to as Hauschka. Hauschka made a name for himself with his seven albums which are prepared piano performances. Deriving inspiration from patrons of piano techniques like Eric Satie, John Cage, Max Richter, and Yann Tiersen, the German great has become a prolific musician.
Hauschka has worked with several musicians, including Hahn. Their first collaborative album was Silfra – the result of a collaboration that developed gradually and organically over more than two years. The pair met at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland through the American folk musician, Tom Brosseau.
Tom’s 2007 album Grand Forks featured Hahn as a guest performer. At the concert, Brosseau made sure Hauschka would be in the audience. The pianist and violinist briefly met after the concert in a friendly atmosphere, there was no discussion of working together. A few weeks later in San Francisco, Hauschka was performing with Brosseau and the Magik*Magik Orchestra when the violinist joined them on stage. That marked the beginning of their collaboration.
The pair’s collaborative doesn’t just combine their distinct musical experience together, it also merges their different approaches to music into a creative and single dynamic voice. The world has gained some wonderful music as a result.
Hilary Hahn and Volker Bertelmann have two daughters together – Zelda and Nadia.