Yearly Archives: 2005

Warsaw, Poland

Dear Readers, Greetings from Poland! I’m in Warsaw now, here for the start of our European tour. We’ve spent one more day here than is usual for a recital stop – we took a week and a half off over Thanksgiving and wanted to put in some extra rehearsal time before getting back into the (read more…)

Santa Barbara, CA

Dear Readers, This is a long tour, so I don’t want to write everything I can think of at this moment, in case I run out of things to report on later. In this entry, therefore, I’ll focus mainly on tour-commencement information. I remember, as a kid, wondering how performers prepared recital tours. Did they (read more…)

Los Angeles, CA

Dear Readers, This trip wasn’t mentioned on the calendar here on my site, but I did come to L.A. this week for a performance. The historic Geffen Playhouse in Westwood had been gutted and rebuilt, and the re-opening event took place last night. I was asked to be one of the musical guests for the (read more…)

Back in Action

Dear Readers, I think it would be fair to state that I owe you a lot of back entries for this journal! I should probably explain some of the reasons for my recent absence from this page, but they’re not excuses, just a little bit of background so you can see that I haven’t forgotten (read more…)

Hilary interviews conductor Eiji Oue

Q: Is chocolate a drug? A: Yes. Q: Pets? A: I love them. I don’t like snakes as pets, but I love most animals people keep as pets. I don’t have any myself, because I travel so much. I did grow up with two dogs – two Pekingese. Q: What about Bach? A: Bach is (read more…)

London, England

Dear Readers, These photos are from a quick trip I just made to London, to have my violin’s fingerboard replaced. They illustrate the process; to read about it, please go to the News feature Overhaulin’. I interviewed several violin restorers at the shop as well – the results of those conversations will be in Opinions (read more…)

Strasbourg, France

Dear Readers, Bonjour – or Guten Tag! Strasbourg is right on the border of France and Germany; in fact, it used to be German, though it’s now very French. To further disorient you, let me mention that even though I spent the past few days working in Strasbourg, I’m writing this entry in a train (read more…)

Hilary interviews pianist Natalie Zhu

Q: Is chocolate a drug?A: No, it’s a habit. Q: Pets?A: I love dogs the most; they’re so loyal. I think I must have been a cat in a previous life, because I meow realistically – and when I do, cats run to me and seem to understand what I’m saying. Once, I had to (read more…)

Career Path

1. What was your first musical experience in childhood?Recordings and radio were always playing in the house, and my father sang in choirs when I was little, so I was around music before I thought anything of it. My first documented encounter was when I was 2 or 3, sitting side by side on a (read more…)

Things to Watch in an Orchestra Concert

I went to my first concert when I was five years old. Since then, I’ve spent many hours observing various orchestras and getting to know orchestral musicians, and some visual characteristics catch my attention over and over again. Most of the time, I notice these when I’m watching as an audience member – when I’m (read more…)


1. What would you say to someone who had never gone to one of your performances and asked what it was like? Bear in mind, I can’t really answer this question because I myself have never “gone to” one of my own performances. I used to usher at a chamber music series and often overheard (read more…)

How to Pass Time Alone in a Hotel Room

It isn’t uncommon for me to be asked, “Don’t you get bored spending so much time in hotels? How do you pass the time? Isn’t it lonely?” I don’t often have time to answer those questions thoroughly, which is why this small document exists. To address the first question: No, I never get bored. Well, (read more…)

Paris, France

Dear Readers, Greetings from Paris! The Verdi Orchestra/Eiji Oue tour has finished, and I’m on my way to a 3-day vacation in Copenhagen, after which I’ll embark on another tour: with the Gothenburg (Sweden) Orchestra through Scandinavia. These tours are really enjoyable for me; I get to work with the same musicians in different halls, (read more…)


1. You have been awarded with Grammy two times and nominated four times. What does it actually mean to get the Grammy in the world of classical music these days? It is super exciting to win something as high-profile as a Grammy award; it helps a performer to realize that his or her work is (read more…)

Exercise Ideas for Non-Gym-Rats or Frequent Travelers

We all have our moments of laziness. Through trial and error, I’ve found these exercises to be convenient and effective when one is short on time or motivation. Give them a whirl and see what you think! Pew swinging: 
If you ever find yourself in an entirely empty church, or in a very informal church (read more…)