Yearly Archives: 2008

Falling Off Stages

Dear Readers, I have a sneaking suspicion that one day I will fall off of a stage. I don’t know where or when, or what the circumstances might be, but I find it difficult to believe that I will make it to old age without once losing my footing and plummeting into the audience. This (read more…)


Dear Readers, It’s crunch time. Financial instability is beginning to force concert presenters and orchestras to cancel previously solid shows and tours and renegotiate contracts. Smaller organizations are in danger of folding. Friends of mine in arts fields more shaky than classical music have already seen gigs dry up, and others are drawing up backup (read more…)

And Automobiles

Dear Readers, Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be frugal. I had great hopes for today. Instead of paying a considerable fee last week to change my departure city from Philadelphia to Newark and going through the hassle of figuring out a new schedule, I decided to take the train to Philadelphia to stick with my (read more…)

Mr. Schoenberg Hits the Tube

After a concert in the spring of 2008, a group of girls came up to me with an art card they’d created. It read, “Hilary Hahn Sleepover!” and was covered with all sorts of birthday references. Turns out my concert was part of a bigger event; all the kids had attended to start off the (read more…)

Rain, rain

Dear Readers, I’m in Philadelphia at the moment to work on a new violin concerto by Jennifer Higdon; we’re running it through with the Curtis (my and Jennifer’s alma mater) Orchestra to make sure all of the notes are in the right places and it sounds like everyone has imagined it would. The premieres aren’t (read more…)


Life on the road may be different from what it seems to those at home. True, one sees things with one’s own eyes that would otherwise only be caught on TV: soccer riots, political conventions, airport security breaches, strange weather, celebrities, flower festivals, strikes, protests, exhibitions, and parades. One also gets caught in things that (read more…)


Dear Readers, Lucky again! I’m sitting in a 4-seat row that I snagged right after everyone had finished boarding this plane from Geneva to Newark. It’s all mine. Four seats to stretch out on – I won’t have to curl up to sleep, just avoid a few seatbelt anchors which will try to dig into (read more…)

Off – September 2, 2008

Dear Readers, …And I’m off. Off vacation, off and running, off for another season on the road, hopping back and forth between continents like some sort of international bunny rabbit. (Thankfully, hopping is where the comparison ends.) Travel-wise, this trip got off to a good start: on the first flight, I was bumped up to (read more…)


1. How many hours a day do you practice? That depends on my daily schedule, how much energy I have, and what is coming up for me. Of course, if I have to learn a lot of new pieces, that adds a couple of extra hours of practice a day. If I’m on a very (read more…)


1. Who are your favorite classical composers? But also, who are your favorite bands (rock, pop, country, whatever genre you listen to)? I don’t tend to have favorites. Whenever something jumps out at me as particularly fantastic, I turn around and discover something else that is just as interesting. If I tried to pick just (read more…)

Touring Life

1. Would you describe your daily routine – do you have any free days ever and when do you give yourself free time – and what do tours look like during intensive concert seasons? I do have free days, in theory. On the other hand, I enjoy living with constant challenges combined with a minimum (read more…)

Other Projects

1. I found your website to be the most “public”-accessible of any musician I have ever seen. Can you tell me why it is so important to you to have this kind of contact with your fans? What made you decide to highlight, in particular, the fan art? Do you think it helps people feel (read more…)

Tokyo, Japan

Dear Readers, Of all the extra noises I’ve heard in a concert, the most unusual and unexpected occurred tonight. Unusual because it happened out of its natural context. Unexpected because Japan is the one of the most polite places I’ve been in my travels. But maybe I’m missing something? No one else in the hall (read more…)

Copenhagen, Denmark

Dear Readers, Today was a good day. I got my own TV show! Don’t get too excited – or roll your eyes – I know I’ll probably never host my own TV gig. What I mean is I was the sole guest on a Danish late-night interview show – and I actually got to play (read more…)

Torino, Italy

Dear Readers, I’m all kinds of sore right now! My recital in Torino has just ended, and I’m in an echo chamber of a dressing room, feeling the effects of a tilted stage. That’s pretty common in Italy: a stage so angled that a marble would roll quickly into the audience if placed on the (read more…)