The Kennedy Center

Hilary Hahn


At the age of 26, Grammy(r) Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is one of the most compelling artists on the international concert circuit. Renowned for her intellectual and emotional maturity, she was named "America's Best" young classical musician by Time Magazine in 2001, and appears on a regular basis with the world's great orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Highlights of Ms. Hahn's 2006-2007 season include recital tours in the United States and Europe and appearances 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.

Hilary Hahn records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. Her most recent album, released in October 2006, is an unusual pairing of Paganini's Concerto No. 1 and Spohr's Concerto No. 8, with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Eiji Oue. In 2005, Deutsche Grammophon released her recording of four Mozart sonatas played with her longtime recital partner Natalie Zhu. Her first two albums on the label were the Elgar Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, which won the "Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik"; and four violin concertos by Bach with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Jeffrey Kahane. Prior to signing with Deutsche Grammophon, Ms. Hahn made five recordings for Sony Classical. Her first album, featuring Solo Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach, won Diapason's 1997 "d'Or of the Year" and spent weeks as a bestseller on the Billboard classical charts. Her next recording, concertos by Beethoven and Bernstein, brought her first Grammy nomination, as well as a second Diapason "d'Or," the Echo Klassik award for 1999, and Gramophone Magazine's "CD of the Month"; and her third release - American concertos by Samuel Barber and Edgar Meyer - won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and the Cannes Classical Award. Her 2001 recording of the concertos of Brahms and Stravinsky won her a Grammy Award in addition to Gramophone's "Editor's Choice" and Monde de la Musique's "Choc." It also became Ms. Hahn's fourth consecutive classical bestseller. In the autumn of 2002, Sony released her fifth album: concertos by Felix Mendelssohn and Dmitri Shostakovich. She has also recently collaborated on several albums with non-classical musicians, appearing on Worlds Apart by Austin alt-rockers …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead and on Tom Brosseau's upcoming album, to be released in January 2007. She can be heard as featured soloist on the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to M. Night Shyamalan's film The Village.

Admitted to Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music in 1990 at the age of ten, Hilary Hahn made her major orchestra debut a year-and-a-half later with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In March 1995, at age 15, Ms. Hahn made her German debut playing the Beethoven concerto with Lorin Maazel and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, in a concert broadcast on radio and television throughout Europe. Two months later shereceived the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In 1996, Ms. Hahn signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical, and made her Carnegie Hall debut in New York as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Alongside her solo work, Ms. Hahn has long been interested in chamber music. Nearly every summer since 1992, she has appeared at the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival, performing both as chamber musician and as soloist with the festival orchestra. Between 1995 and 2000, she spent four summers studying and performing chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. From 1996 to 1998 she was an artist-member of the chamber music mentoring program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with whom she subsequently appeared as a frequent guest artist.

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 Ysaye - 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.
Last updated: February 27, 2007
Hilary Hahn