Why has it been 10 years since Hilary Hahn played the NY Philharmonic?

Why has it been 10 years since Hilary Hahn played the NY Philharmonic?


norman lebrecht

November 26, 2014

They’re breaking the ice tomorrow night, but what happened in 2004? And since?

hilary hahn latest

Apparently the last time she played with the orch was December 2004, the Elgar concerto with the late Sir Colin Davis.



  • Vince says:

    I saw her Facebook status and I wondered the same thing. 10 years absence is an awful long time for one of the most in demand soloists today.

  • JAMA11 says:

    The NYP often requests that top soloists play for greatly reduced fees; otherwise they would never be able to afford them all. (Most major orchestras in the US do the same.) The Amarillo Symphony can splurge to pay Yo Yo Ma $75K for one concert, and charge $200/ticket to cover it (and then some.) But the NY Phil can’t possibly pay fees like that night after night after night, regardless of ticket prices, so they make agreements with the soloists to play for $20K (or whatever) plus prestige and reviews and ego and whatever. Perhaps Hillary Hahn’s agent held out in negotiating a higher fee, correctly reasoning that her career would still be fine if she didn’t play at the NY Phil every other year.

  • secret says:

    The NY Phil is such a humdrum affair. The auditorium is too vast and the decor campy like the love boat. The patrons are elderly. I could imagine agents think of it as inconsequential. Aside from that, soloist should be willing to play for $20k or less, plus expenses, otherwise they are really being assholes. I remember when the music world reeled at the idea that Von Karajan would get a $30k performance fee. And the music world is different now.

    • John says:

      Ugh, those awful “elderly patrons”. So annoying to have to see them! Banish them all!

      (I’m 69)

    • MWnyc says:

      The music world isn’t the only thing that’s different now.

      How much would Karajan’s $30K fee be in 2014 dollars?

      If that $30K fee was in 1970, today’s equivalent would be well over $183K; if it was in 1960, today’s equivalent would be $240K.

  • David Pickett says:

    I am curious to know why one writes “the late Sir Colin Davis”, whereas in a recent article here on someone going to a position in New York Sir John Barbirolli of glorious memory was just plain John Barbirolli.

  • NYMike says:

    Hilary has appeared in NY many times in other venues over the last ten years – just not with the Phil.

  • Joel Stein says:

    Secret-the New York Phil this season includes major works by John Adams,Eotvos, Chin and Thomas Ades, as well as Honneger’s Joan of Arc. The audience is old and bored, but that goes for most American Symphony subscription audiences. The NY Phil had a two week festival last June of 21st C. music. The Hall is bad, but the size is no different from Symphony Hall in Boston which sounds wonderful.