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ARTIST PROFILE

Hilary Hahn and Natalie Zhu

BIOGRAPHY

At the age of 25, Grammy Award-winning violinist HILARY HAHN is one of the most compelling artists on the international concert circuit. Known for her intellectual and emotional maturity, she was named "America's Best" young classical musician by Time Magazine in 2001, and appears regularly with the world's great orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North America.

Highlights of Ms. Hahn's 2004-2005 season include recital tours in the United States, Europe, and Asia, which bring her to cities including Seattle, Boston, London, Vienna and Shanghai. She also maintains her busy concert schedule in appearances with orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, and the Orchestre National de Belgique. In addition, her orchestral engagements include a European tour with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, a Scandinavian tour with the Gothenburg Symphony, and an appearance with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo.

Hilary Hahn records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. Her most recent album, released in September 2004, features the Elgar Violin Concerto and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis. In 2003, Deutsche Grammophon released Ms. Hahn's recording of the four violin concertos by Bach: the solo concertos in A minor and E major, the Concerto for Two Violins in D minor (with Margaret Batjer, second violin), and the Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor (with Allan Vogel, oboe) with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Jeffrey Kahane.

Prior to signing with Deutsche Grammophon, Ms. Hahn made five recordings for Sony Classical. Her first album, featuring Solo Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach, won Diapason's 1997 "d'Or of the Year" and spent weeks as a bestseller on the Billboard classical charts. Her next recording, concertos by Beethoven and Bernstein, brought her first Grammy nomination, as well as a second Diapason "d'Or," the Echo Klassik award for 1999, and Gramophone Magazine's "CD of the Month"; and her third release - American concertos by Samuel Barber and Edgar Meyer - won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and the Cannes Classical Award. Her 2001 recording of the concertos of Brahms and Stravinsky won her a Grammy Award in addition to Gramophone "Editor's Choice and Monde de la Musique's "Choc". It also became Ms. Hahn's fourth consecutive classical bestseller. In the autumn of 2002, Sony released her fifth album: concertos of Felix Mendelssohn and Dmitri Shostakovich.

In other recent projects, Ms. Hahn can be heard as featured soloist on the soundtrack to M. Night Shyamalan's latest film, The Village, and as a guest artist on the upcoming album by Austin alt-rockers And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead. Her next recording for Deutsche Grammophon will be an album of Mozart violin sonatas.

Admitted to Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music in 1990 at the age of ten, Hilary Hahn made her major orchestra debut a year and a half later with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Her 1993 Philadelphia Orchestra debut was followed by engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In March 1995, at age 15, Ms. Hahn made her German debut playing the Beethoven concerto with Lorin Maazel and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, in a concert broadcast on radio and television throughout Europe. Two months later she received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. In 1996, Ms. Hahn completed the graduation requirements for her bachelor's degree at Curtis, signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical, and made her Carnegie Hall debut in New York, as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Alongside her solo work, Ms. Hahn has long been interested in chamber music. Nearly every summer since 1992 she has appeared at the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival, performing both as chamber musician and as soloist with the festival orchestra. Between 1995 and 2000, she spent four summers studying and performing chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. From 1996 to 1998 she was an artist-member of the chamber music mentoring program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with whom she has subsequently appeared frequently as a guest artist.

Hilary Hahn was born in Lexington, Virginia. At the age of three she moved to Baltimore, where she began playing the violin one month before her fourth birthday in a local children's program. From age five to ten, she studied in Baltimore with Klara Berkovich, a native of Odessa who taught for 25 years at the Leningrad School for the Musically Gifted. From ten to seventeen she studied at Curtis with the legendary Jascha Brodsky - the last surviving student of the great Belgian violinist Eugene Ysa˙e - working closely with him until his death at the age of 89. Though she completed the Curtis Institute's requirements at age 16, Ms. Hahn deferred graduation and remained at the school for several more years, taking additional elective courses in languages and literature, coaching regularly with Jaime Laredo, and studying chamber music with Felix Galimir and Gary Graffman. In May of 1999, at the age of 19, Ms. Hahn graduated from Curtis with a bachelor of music degree.

 

NATALIE ZHU began piano studies with Xiao-Cheng Liu at the age of six in her native China and made her first public appearance at age nine in Beijing. At eleven she immigrated with her family to Los Angeles and by fifteen was enrolled in the Curtis Institute, where she received the Rachmaninoff Award and studied with Gary Graffman. She received her master's degree from the Yale School of Music as a student of Claude Frank. After stepping in for Garrick Ohlsson in several collaborations with violinist Hilary Hahn in 2000, she continued to perform with Hahn in tours of the U.S., Europe, and Japan, including a hugely successful Carnegie Hall recital debut. Ms. Zhu has also appeared in concert with violinist Soovin Kim on the San Francisco Performances series. An active chamber musician, she is a frequent soloist at the Amelia Island Festival and has appeared at the Marlboro Music and Tanglewood Festivals. In 2001 she joined the Curtis faculty as staff pianist and in 2003 received an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award.