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.
Dec 1, 2015
Bethany Winder, a nurse who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., plants a sign in support of Planned Parenthood just south of its clinic as police investigators gather evidence near the scene of Friday's shooting at the clinic Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in northwest Colorado Springs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Women’s health, American politics and gun violence after the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting.

Dec 1, 2015
In this 2010 file photo, Dr. Tom and Ann Earley work a Salvation Army kettle with their dog, Bocce, in an Atlanta, GA-area shopping center. (Flickr / Vicki DeLoach)

On #GivingTuesday, we’ll explore the trends in giving now from crowd sourcing to big charities and beyond.

Nov 30, 2015
Shoppers walks in front of a holiday display Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, we’ll add up the dollars and trends and bargains of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Nov 30, 2015
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, center left, Minister of the Environment of Peru and COP20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, center right, and French Foreign Affairs Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, center, pose for photographers during a press visit to the COP21, Paris Climate Conference, site, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World leaders converge in Paris for the big climate talks. We’ll look at what it will take to get a global climate agreement.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »