Interview of Hilary Hahn for Gramophone magazine on march 2014 issue

Martin Cullingford speaks to violinist Hilary Hahn about her Project to commission 27 encores from the same number of composers.

[...] "An encore is, for me, a sound world - a full piece in about three or four minutes that leaves the audience with a distinct impression, but doesn't erase the impression of everything they'd experienced right before. That's a tricky thing."

In disarmingly simple terms, Hilary Hahn - violinist, and now the commissioner of a double album of contemporary encores - distils the challenge succinctly. [...]

[...] In contrast is a lyrical work by the Spanish composer Antón García Abril, called Third Sigh. So inspired was García Abril that he actually wrote three pieces for Hahn, two for violin and piano, one solo, to be performed as a set. "He wrote these evocative old-world style pieces that are also very modern. And they're kind of vocal." One of the great attractions for her was that "they really use the polyphony of the violin, wich is very interesting against the piano, because the piano is naturally polyphonic and a lot of composers forget that the violin is also capable of polyphony. I really appreciate it when a composer writes double-stops because it gives a whole new interpretative possibility for me, I can phrase two things in different ways at the same time." [...]

[...] "What I hadn't anticipated was that learning them wasn't a case of learning a certain number of minutes of music. It takes the same degree of mental acrobatics to do five minutes of a musical language by a composer I hadn't played before as to perform a whole concerto. So it's really been challenging mentally, but so rewarding and I hope that connects with listeners too." [...]

Extract from Hilary Hahn's interview published on march 2014 issue of Gramophone magazine by Martin Cullingford.
To read the full interview on digital format: 

To buy the CD 27 encores:

Also, Hilary Hahn premieres in Spain "Three Sighs" by Antón García Abril with Cory Smythe on may 8, 2014. More information about this concert in our Calendar or at

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