Violinist Hilary Hahn Takes ’27 Encores’

Twenty-seven composers write brand new music for superstar violinist Hilary Hahn. And Hilary Hahn plays it for us.

Violinist Hilary Hahn (Michael Patrick O'Leary/IMG Artists)

Violinist Hilary Hahn (Michael Patrick O’Leary/IMG Artists)

Intrepid violinist Hilary Hahn was a star before she was grown.  Then, still young, a superstar on the violin, dazzling audiences and critics all over the world with her Paganini, her Bach, her Stravinsky, her Schoenberg.  But young virtuoso Hilary Hahn was and is an explorer, too.  She writes, she tweets, she’s jokes, she plays with Josh Ritter.  And now she’s throwing a whole new raft of music into the mix.  Twenty-seven encores.  All new.  This hour On Point:  the boundary-breaking Hilary Hahn.

– Tom Ashbrook


Hilary Hahn, two-time Grammy-winning, Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated classical violinist. Her latest album is “In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores.” (@violincase)

From Tom’s Reading List

The New Yorker: Finales — “Hahn, who is in her early thirties, first gained notice as a prodigy playing obvious fare. She has matured into one of the most creative and unpredictable virtuosos before the public, deploying her star power on behalf of modernist masters and living composers. ‘In 27 Pieces’ stemmed from a desire to update the repertory of well-masticated encore chestnuts. Hahn spent hours in front of her computer, bouncing from one Web site to another, and commissioned twenty-six composers from seventeen countries, ranging in age from thirty-two (Nico Muhly) to eighty-five (Einojuhani Rautavaara). She also ran a contest for the twenty-seventh commission, which drew more than four hundred entries; Jeff Myers was the winner.”

Boston Globe: BEST ALBUMS OF 2013: Jeremy Eichler –“This diverse collection of miniatures represents the fruit of Hahn’s ambitious commissioning project, through which she engaged 26 composers to write brief works for violin and piano, and held a contest for encore number 27 that drew over 400 entries. Hahn was already a well-established virtuoso. This project marks her evolution as something far more interesting: a creative force.”

NPR Music: First Listen: Hilary Hahn, ‘In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores‘ — “For the 27th encore, Hahn launched a contest. More than 400 composers sent her scores which she blind-tested over a three-month period, eventually settling on a piece by Jeff Myers. In a span of just two years, Hahn premiered all the new works around the world and recorded them. (She is, after all, resourceful.) Few of Hahn’s new encores sound remotely like old Kreisler-styled bonbons. Instead they brim with personalities as unique and varied as their composers. Somei Satoh’s Bifū flows with long lines and a rippling piano, while Avner Dorman’s Memory Games pulses ever forward with staccato notes that break suddenly for a reflective finish.”

“In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores”

Watch Hilary Hahn Interview Some Of the Composers On Her New Album

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 7, 2015
The Doctors Without Borders trauma center is seen in flames, after explosions near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz. Doctors Without Borders announced that the death toll from the bombing of the group's Kunduz hospital compound has risen to at least 16, including 3 children and that tens are missing after the explosions that may have been caused by a U.S. airstrike.  (AP)

The US airstrike on the hospital in Kunduz. The top US commander in Afghanistan faces tough questions from Congress. We’re looking for what really happened.

Oct 7, 2015
Students in the new documentary film "Beyond Measure" take part in a project-based learning activity with their peers. (Courtesy the Filmmakers)

Arne Duncan’s headed out as U.S. Education Secretary. What’s next for America’s school kids?

Oct 6, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, photo, Dorothy McIntosh Shuemake, mother of Alison Shuemake, browses a picture collage of her daughter at her home, in Middletown, Ohio. Alison Shuemake, 18, died Aug. 26, after a suspected heroin overdose. (AP)

American addiction. From prescription painkillers to heroin. The numbers are staggering. Why?

Oct 6, 2015
Eric Baker, co-owner of the Mo Money Pawn Shop, poses for a photo at the shop Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Phoenix.  (AP)

American gun policy front and center in the 2016 campaigns after the shootings in Oregon. We’ll look at who stands where on guns.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment. Now, with the House set to vote on a new Speaker on Oct. 25, three would-be party leaders are stepping in to make their case. U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster […]

More »
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »