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Hilary Hahn

Three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn melds expressive musicality and technical expertise with a diverse repertoire guided by artistic curiosity. Her barrier-breaking attitude towards classical music and her commitment to sharing her experiences with a global community have made her a fan favorite. Hahn is a prolific recording artist and commissioner of new works, and her 22 feature recordings have received every critical prize in the international press. She is co-founder and VP of Artistic Partnerships of the AI-music initiative Deepmusic.AI.

Hahn is currently in the midst of her second year as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first ever Artist-in-Residence, and is Artist-in-Residence at London's Wigmore Hall. This season Hahn performs Brahms’ Violin Concerto with the Orchestre National de Belgique and the Seattle Symphony, and on tour with Mikko Franck and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Hahn joins the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich in performances of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, which she also brings to the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra—both in Helsinki and on tour in Germany—as well as the Vancouver and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras.

Dvořák’s Violin Concerto, which Hahn recently recorded for her 2022 album Eclipse, forms the center of programs with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra; she also performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Chicago and Tucson Symphony Orchestras, and the Baton Rouge Symphony. In the spring Hahn brings Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 to the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. She then joins the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, which she performs alongside Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Deux Sérénades, appearing in its US premiere.

Hahn cemented her status as a world-class violinist when she made her recording debut in 1997 with Hilary Hahn Plays Bach, featuring Bach’s Partitas Nos. 2 and 3 and Sonata No. 3. She completed Bach’s solo violin repertoire in 2018 with the follow-up recording Hilary Hahn Plays Bach: Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2, Partita No. 1. This season she performs Bach in solo recitals in London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. She also performs recitals of works by Lera Auerbach and Sergei Prokofiev in London and Berlin.

A strong advocate for new music, Hahn has championed works by a diverse array of contemporary composers, and has personally commissioned more than 35 composers to write works in a wide range of formats. Her 2021 recording Paris features the world premiere recording of Rautavaara’s Deux Sérénades, a piece written for Hahn and completed posthumously by Kalevi Aho, which Hahn premiered in 2019. Other recent commissions include Michael Abels’s Isolation Variation—Hahn’s recording of which has been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category—Anishinaabeg composer Barbara Assiginaak’s Sphynx Moth, Lera Auerbach’s Sonata No. 4: Fractured Dreams, and 6 Partitas by Antón García Abril. García Abril, Auerbach, and Rautavaara had been contributing composers for In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores, Hahn's Grammy Award-winning multi-year commissioning project to revitalize the duo encore genre. In addition to the 26 composers directly commissioned for the project, Hahn held an open contest which drew nearly 600 contributions from composers around the world

Hahn has related to her fans naturally from the very beginning of her career. She has committed to signings after nearly every concert and maintains and shares a collection of the fan-art she has received over the course of 20 years. Hahn is an avid, long-time blogger. Her “Postcards from the Road” feature, a series of personal updates from her travels around the world, evolved from an initial year-long postcard project that she began with a classroom of third-graders. Her “Bring Your Own Baby” concerts, developed over recent residencies in Vienna, Seattle, Lyon, and Philadelphia, create opportunities for parents of infants to share their enjoyment of live classical music with their children in a nurturing, welcoming environment.

Hahn’s commitment to her fans extends to a long history of educational initiatives. A former Suzuki student, she released new recordings of the first three books of the Suzuki Violin School in 2020, in partnership with the International Suzuki Association and Alfred Music. The recordings also appear on the teaching platform SmartMusic. In 2019, she released a book of sheet music for her encores project, In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores, which includes her own fingerings and bowings and performance notes for each commissioned work. That same year, she created a mini-video-masterclass series around 6 Partitas, and donated her $25,000 Glashütte Originals Festspielpreis to Project 440, a Philadelphia music-education nonprofit program that helps young people build essential life skills. Her Instagram-based practice initiative, #100daysofpractice, has helped to demystify the typically grueling and isolating practice process, transforming it into a community-oriented, social celebration of artistic development. Since Hahn created the hashtag in 2017, fellow performers and students have contributed nearly 800,000 posts.

Hahn is a prolific and celebrated recording artist whose 22 feature albums on Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Sony have all opened in the top ten of the Billboard charts. In addition, she can be found on three DVDs, an award-winning recording for children, and various compilations. Her most recent recording, 2022’s Eclipse, celebrates Hahn’s return to the stage and studio after two seasons away with three pieces by Dvořák, Ginastera, and Sarasate. Three of Hahn’s albums—her 2003 Brahms and Stravinsky concerto disc, a 2008 pairing of the Schoenberg and Sibelius concerti, and her 2013 recording of In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores—have been awarded Grammys. Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, which was written for Hahn and which she recorded along with the Tchaikovsky concerto, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. In 2017 she released a fan-oriented retrospective collection that featured new live material and showcased art from her fans. Hahn is the subject of two documentaries: Hilary Hahn–A Portrait, released in 2006, and Hilary Hahn–Evolution of an Artist, which chronicles the past 16 years of her career.

Hahn has also participated in a number of non-classical productions. She was featured in the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to The Village, and has collaborated on two records by the alt-rock band ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, on the album Grand Forks by Tom Brosseau, and on tour with folk-rock singer-songwriter Josh Ritter. In 2012 Hahn launched Silfra, a free improv project with experimental prepared-pianist Hauschka, following an intensive period of development.

Hahn is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. Most recently, she received the 2021 Herbert von Karajan award, delivered the keynote speech of the Second Annual Women in Classical Music Symposium, and was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year for 2023. Hahn was the 2022 Chubb Fellow at Yale University’s Timothy Dwight College; she also holds honorary doctorates from Middlebury College—where she spent four summers in the total-immersion German, French, and Japanese language programs—and Ball State University, where there are three scholarships in her name.