Hilary Hahn announces online contest to select the 27th encore for her “In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores”

New York, NY — At age 32 Hahn has already made a lasting impact on the violin repertoire, premiering a concerto by Jennifer Higdon in addition to another by Edgar Meyer and championing both well- and lesser- known works in performance and recording. This season, Hahn delves deeper into the world of contemporary classical music, commissioning over two dozen composers to write short-form pieces for acoustic violin and piano. She will tour these new works over the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons and then record them. The project is called In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores.

The 26 commissioned composers represent a large range of contemporary music being written today. Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Lera Auerbach, Richard Barrett, Mason Bates, Tina Davidson, David Del Tredici, Avner Dorman, Søren Nils Eichberg, Christos Hatzis, Jennifer Higdon, James Newton Howard, Bun-Ching Lam, David Lang, Edgar Meyer, Paul Moravec, Nico Muhly, Michiru Oshima, Krzysztof Penderecki, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Max Richter, Somei Satoh, Elliott Sharp, Valentin Silvestrov, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Gillian Whitehead, and Du Yun have all written new encore pieces for Hahn.

The final, 27th composer will be selected by Hahn from submissions on a website. Anyone from anywhere can submit a potential 27th encore. Hahn’s goal is to give equal opportunity for participation, and to help create a positive environment in which everyone who is interested in expressing themselves musically can be heard. One Grand Prize winner will be named the 27th composer for In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores. The Grand Prize winning piece will be programmed on Hahn’s 2012-13 recital program with 13 other previously commissioned works for the project; toured around the world; and recorded for release in the 2013-14 concert season. Honorable Mentions (not to exceed ten in number) will also be awarded to the pieces that Hahn finds most compelling besides the Grand Prize winner. These Honorable Mentions will be listed on HilaryHahn.com. For every submission received, $2 will be donated to the music programs of Dramatic Need.

The competition is open to composers of all nationalities, with no age restrictions. The compositions submitted for the competition must use both acoustic violin and piano, and nothing else, and may not involve any form of electronic or pre-recorded sounds or vocalizations. The pieces must be between 1.5 and 5 minutes in length, and only completed works will be considered. Each entry must be original music written by the composer, and only one entry per composer is allowed. No changes may be made once a piece is submitted, though the Grand Prize winner will have a chance to make small revisions once the piece is chosen. The submitted compositions must be written specifically for this project and not submitted to any other contest, and must not have been performed, published, or recorded in any form.

Submissions will be accepted on the website from November 15, 2011 to March 15, 2012. Each submission must be comprised of a PDF and a MIDI file. Results will be announced on this site on June 15, 2012. For the full list of rules and submission requirements, please click here.

The idea for In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores began to take shape nearly a decade ago, when Hahn noticed that new encore pieces were not being showcased as much as other types of contemporary works. Shorter pieces remain a crucial part of every violinist’s education and repertoire, and Hahn believed potential new favorites should be encouraged and performed as well. In a recent interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Hahn describes her experiences to date with this project: “What surprised me most is the way each piece represents its composer’s specific musical language. I find myself working very hard to get into each composer’s way of writing, so that I understand on an innate level how they have structured every aspect of their pieces, from phrases to harmonies and even violinistic techniques. In that sense, this project has been much bigger than I anticipated. But I like challenges.”

Once a month over the next two years, Hahn will post interviews with the In 27 Pieces composers on her YouTube channel. To date, she has interviewed Max Richter, Bun-Ching Lam and Søren Nils Eichberg. Click on the images below to watch.

Hahn is currently on an American tour on which she plays Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, as well as 13 of the 27 encores from In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores.

October 13 – Presented by the Constella Festival; Memorial Hall; Cincinnati, OH
October 15 – Central Moravian Church; Bethlehem, PA

October 17 – Presented by the Seattle Symphony; Benaroya Hall; Seattle, WA

October 19 – The Paramount Theater; Charlottesville, VA

October 21 – The Center for the Performing Arts; Carmel, IN

October 23 – Symphony Center; Chicago, IL

October 27 – Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University; Atlanta, GA

October 29 – Mondavi Center, UC Davis; Davis, CA

November 1 – Presented by LA Philharmonic; Disney Hall; Los Angeles, CA

November 6 – The Broward Center; Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Hahn’s recital repertoire is as follows (order to be announced from the stage):

BACH (1685-1750)
Sonata No. 1 in G Minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1001
Fuga (Allegro)
BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Opus 12
Allegro vivace
Andante, più tosto allegretto
Allegro piacevole
BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Sonatensatz in C Minor, WoO 2
In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores

Lera Auerbach, Speak, Memory
Tina Davidson, Blue Curve of the Earth
Avner Dorman, Memory Games
Soren Nils Eichberg, Levitation
Christos Hatzis, Coming To
Jennifer Higdon, Echo Dash
Bun-Ching Lam, Solitude d’automne
Paul Moravec, Blue Fiddle
Nico Muhly, Two Voices
Einojuhani Rautavaara, Whispering
Max Richter, Mercy
Somei Satoh, Bifu
Gillian Whitehead, Torua

Two-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn has gained international recognition for her probing interpretations, compelling stage presence, and commitment to a wide range of repertoire as well as newly commissioned music. Her extensive tours and dynamic recordings have made her one of the most sought-after artists of this era. Hahn appears regularly with the world’s elite orchestras and on prestigious recital series in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. In the fifteen years since she began recording, Hahn has released thirteen solo albums on the Deutsche Grammophon and Sony labels, in addition to three live performance DVDs, an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack, and various compilations. She recently released an album of Tchaikovsky and Higdon concertos; the Higdon concerto, which Hahn commissioned, won the Pulitzer Prize. Known for her vivacious personality, Hahn keeps a collection of her writings at hilaryhahn.com. Her violin case Tweets from the road at @violincase.

For more information about In 27 Pieces, to request press tickets to any of the US tour dates, or to obtain a review copy of her recently released Charles Ives album, please contact:

Amanda Ameer
First Chair Promotion
e. amanda@firstchairpromo.com
ph. 212.368.5949

Photo: Peter Miller