Hilary Hahn gave her first solo concert at the age of six, and when she was ten, she went to study under Jascha Brodsky, the last pupil of the legendary Eugène Ysaÿe. Her orchestral debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra followed six months later. “Some people,” says the exceptional American violinist, “called me a ‘child prodigy’ back then, but nobody is a child prodigy. There is always hard work behind it.”
Hilary Hahn received her first violin lessons shortly before her fourth birthday and took lessons with Klara Berkovich from the age of five before continuing her training at the Curtis Institute of Music. After solo debuts with the Baltimore and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras, the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, she began her formal violin studies at the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 16, but postponed her degree to also study languages, literature and creative writing. By the time she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree at nineteen, she was already an internationally successful violinist with a number of award-winning CD recordings to her credit. At the age of 20, she made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and a year later she accompanied the orchestra on a tour of Japan. Hilary Hahn has supported the work of a large number of contemporary composers and commissioned numerous works. In 2010, the three-time Grammy Award winner recorded Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto, composed for her, on CD, which won the Pulitzer Prize. The instrumentalist also initiated a multi-year project to commission 27 composers from around the world to write short encore pieces for her. Hilary Hahn, who is also involved in many educational initiatives, holds honorary doctorates from Middlebury College, where she studied German, French and Japanese, and Ball State University, where there are three scholarships in her name.