Yearly Archives: 2004

Dublin, Ireland

Dear Readers, I’m sitting next to Natalie in the Dublin airport, waiting for our flight to Amsterdam, where we’ll transfer to another flight to Vienna. We checked in at an electronic airport kiosk, which was a first for me in Europe – and we got to pick our seats. We chose an aisle and a (read more…)

2004 interview with conductor Grant Cooper

This September 2004 interview, with West Virginia Symphony conductor Grant Cooper, differs slightly from my previous ones: I customized part of it. I did not, however, neglect to present Grant with some standard opinion topics at the end of this conversation. It’s fun to read interviewees’ responses to those… Hilary Hahn: What drew you to (read more…)

Charleston, WV

Dear Readers, This is my first visit to West Virginia. I haven’t seen much of it, but there seem to be a lot of trees, and animals, and miles upon miles of wilderness around Charleston: a large national forest is located just outside the city. I’d hoped to go white-water rafting or horse-trekking during this (read more…)

New York City

Dear Readers, The movie is out! A few evenings ago, I attended the world premiere of The Village, the latest release from director M. Night Shyamalan. It’s not every day that I get to go to such an impressive event! However, you might recall that I recorded numerous solos for the soundtrack to this film (read more…)

Auckland, New Zealand

Dear Readers, This is my first entry from New Zealand. Greetings from far away! My tour here is over, and I’m getting ready to return to the United States now – though I still have five more weeks till I go home. I’d been to Australia before, in the middle of ’99, for a five-week (read more…)

Hilary interviews Christian Gansch, guest conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for her May 2004 tour in that country

Q: Is chocolate a drug? A: Yes. Q: Pets? A: I love them. Not so much dogs, but especially cats. They have an independent approach yet on the other hand, they show you that they like tenderness. Q: What about Bach? A: For classical music, Bach is as basic as Plato and Aristotle are for (read more…)

Hong Kong

Dear Readers, Greetings from Hong Kong, at the end of my second visit! I’m writing this entry in, as usual, the airport. My flight to New Zealand has been delayed, so I’m stranded for the time being, giving me some time to type this update. When boarding is announced, however, I may have to put (read more…)

Toronto, Canada

Dear Readers, Greetings from Toronto! It’s always nice to return to this city. This was a working week, but I still found time to visit some of my favorite haunts from my last visits. Queen Street was high on the list – it’s a parallel to South Street in Philadelphia, a hip, slightly crazy drag (read more…)


Dear Readers, I’m passing a long wait at the airport by writing this entry. Above my head, a U.S. government official frowns as she speaks on CNN; a man to my right, buried in his newspaper, appears to be skimming through articles about Baghdad and British debates; and in front of me, a middle-aged guy (read more…)

Hamburg, Germany

Dear Readers, Grusse aus Hamburg! That’s right, I’m back in Germany! It’s been a few months since I finished my European recital tour, and now I’ve returned for some concerto engagements – three in all. I’ve already completed one and am one concert away from wrapping up the second. From Liege last week, I traveled (read more…)

Newark, NJ

Dear Readers, It’s getting late, and I’m sore. I’ve been watching men’s gymnastics on TV, but this ache isn’t sympathetic – I’ve had a kink along the left side of my neck since I woke up this morning. As a violinist, that’s a problem: the violin rests on the left shoulder. Fortunately, playing my violin (read more…)

Ann Arbor, MI

Dear Readers, Today I set foot inside an organ. No, not a body part – the instrument! The organ in Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan, here in Ann Arbor, is in the process of being renovated: specialists are cleaning and repairing it, giving this beast of an instrument a thorough tune-up. I was (read more…)

Anchorage, AK

Dear Readers, Of all the places I’ve visited, none has felt more different from the norm than Anchorage. On the surface it’s like any other city, but underneath, there’s a sense of remoteness, of isolation, yet also of independence and self-sufficiency and deserved pride. Towards the end of my incoming flight a few days ago, (read more…)

What to Do with an Instrument You’re No Longer Using

Hang it on a wall. Sell it on eBay. Leave it in a case under your bed. Lend it to a family member, neighbor, friend, or child of any of the above who is thinking of taking lessons. Expect it to return with some wear and tear. Take it to a shop and invest some (read more…)

What to Do with Your Instrument When You’re Bored

Dress up your instrument or its case (carefully). Take it to a Halloween party. Get pet costumes for it. Heck, sew instrument-shaped clothes! Just be sure not to break it, scratch it, drop it, poke it, or block any of the sound holes if you’re going to be playing on it while it’s disguised. And, (read more…)