2007-03-02

Hilary Hahn

Make room for another bookmark. Violinist Hilary Hahn keeps an online journal.

Another day, another airport - this time, still in Naples, I sit in the tiny VIP departure lounge, exhausted and amused. The exhaustion comes from a combination of work and a new exercise routine I began a couple of days ago, when I somehow got it into my head that I didn't have enough to do already and so would therefore aim to run in the New York Marathon next year. The amusement comes from the fact that Maestro Blomstedt is parked bolt upright in front of the only lounge computer, taking full advantage of the Internet services. Even though it's only business, there's something adorable about such a great veteran conductor demurely emailing on a public computer.

Hilary Hahn
2006 November 7

The full site offers the usual things (bio, schedule, list of recordings) but plenty more besides. In addition to her journal Ms Hahn maintains an unusual gallery of artwork given to her by fans after her concerts.

I especially enjoy the Favorites section. Here students of the violin will find valuable practice tips. Ms Hahn's Exercise Ideas for Non-Gym Rats or Frequent Travellers gave me some ideas I can put to use right away. Her discussion of Things to Watch in an Orchestra Concert brought a smile when she came to one of my own favorites--the gong.
This was my favorite instrument to watch when I was a little kid going to Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts. I'd wait whole symphonies just to hear it struck, to hear the tone well up as if in an exotic temple or royal court. (I read a lot of fairy tales.) Although I became a violinist in the end, I still like to tap any gong I pass in backstage hallways and rehearsal rooms. I even rammed one with my head once, to see what it would sound like. Call me crazy! But don't tell the percussionists.
Ms Hahn, you are cordially invited to visit Taiwan as often as you can make the trip. One of the delights of the island is the dazzling variety and colour of its percussion instruments. We have no end of wonderful objects here to hit one's head on.

Here's wishing you success in the marathon.

Courtesy of www.HilaryHahn.com
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