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About this Piece

The program will also include these Selected Shorts from “In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores” project:

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

At age 31, two-time Grammy-winning violinist HILARY HAHN has already made a lasting impact on the violin repertoire, premiering two concertos written for her by American composers and championing both well- and lesser- known works in performance and recording. Hahn now 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.

This idea 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.

Of the project, she writes, “My initial goal was to expand the encore genre to embrace works of different styles. Because I was planning to play the commissioned pieces myself, it was important that the composers’ writing spoke to me in some way. I listened to a lot of contemporary classical music, for hours on end, often late into the night. I loved hearing things I had never heard before. I made nerve-wracking ‘cold calls’ to composers to ask them to participate in my project. I wasn’t sure what the reactions would be, but to my surprise, so many people were receptive that the project gained exhilarating momentum.

“It has been thrilling and an honor to get to know these composers as artists and to work with such different personalities and styles. Going into this project, I had no idea how much I would learn from it. Each composer brings his or her own musical language to the table. As a performer, the process of exploring these pieces is both challenging and exciting. The structure may be concise, but each work contains a wealth of expression.

“When composers put ideas down on paper, the aural world takes on a greater dimension. My hope is that these particular contributions will showcase the range of music being written today, while bringing enjoyment to listeners and performers alike.”