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Hilary Hahn, ECO to perform in Seoul

Grammy-winning American violinist Hilary Hahn and U.K.’s English Chamber Orchestra will meet their Korean fans on April 12 at the Seoul Arts Concert Hall. Hahn last visited Seoul three years ago.

Hahn, 31, is one of the most sought after violinists in the world, along with Korean-American violinist Sarah Chang, 30. Hahn and Chang have been often compared with each other due to their different performing styles and violin tones.

Music critics characterize Hahn’s playing as honest, clear and precise while Chang is seen as rather dynamic and dramatic. Chang is to be on stage in Seoul with Russia’s St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in November.

Born in 1979 in Virginia, Hahn chose Bach’s unaccompanied sonatas and partitas for her debut album “Hilary Hahn plays Bach” and won the French Diapason d’Or award for Young Talent in 1998.

She won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance in 2001. She is under a contract with prestigious label Deutsche Grammophon.
Violinist Hilary Hahn. (Vincero)
Violinist Hilary Hahn. (Vincero)

“Hilary Hahn’s violin sound is quite femine but sharp. Her special tone and virtuosity shine especially when she performs unusual works that other violinist don’t normally try,” said a music columnist Choi Eun-gyu.

Hahn is Internet-savvy and actively uses social networking services as well. She set up her Twitter account ( as “violincase,” assuming that her violin case tells about Hahn’s life, traveling the world with her. Hahn uploads her live concert video clips on video-sharing site Youtube at

At the upcoming concert with the ECO, she will play Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major “Turkish.”

The ECO will also perform Haydn’s Symphony No. 44 “Mourning,” Purcell’s Chaconne and Britten’s Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge. Violinist Stephanie Gonley, director of the ECO, will lead the orchestra.

Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos, who recently performed in Seoul with Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, will also join the ECO’s stage, organizer Vincero said.

“The ECO will be able to show its real quality, as the program includes not only German classics of Haydn and Mozart but repertoires of Britain’s representative composers Purcell and Britten,” the organizer said.

Hilary Hahn and the ECO’s concert will take place at the Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall on April 12 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from 40,000 won to 160,000 won. For more information, call (02) 599-5743.

By Kim Yoon-mi (
Korea Herald daum