Hilary Hahn phones in an encore

Hilary Hahn phones in an encore


norman lebrecht

May 21, 2019



  • MusicBear88 says:

    Not only is she one of the greatest violinists alive, but she seems extremely gracious as well.

  • Ravi Narasimhan says:

    She’s an incredible violinist but is an encore now expected and programmed or is it a little extra from the artist when the audience is blown away by a performance and responds accordingly?

    • Anonanon says:

      “Program structure” here is very likely a euphemism meaning “if the orchestra musicians stayed on stage long enough for an encore, they would be eligible for an overtime rate.”

      If a performance involves a union orchestra, there is an allowable duration for a concert that fits into the normal “service” rate. Depending on what is programmed, it might be rather tight, or there might be enough slack where an encore could be added. In either case, I’m sure the soloist is informed beforehand. So in a way, it sort of does have to be programmed.

      • Ravi Narasimhan says:

        Interesting. I checked the CSO website and it showed the same program all four dates with the Gigue called out. I have never seen an encore listed ahead of the event before. Something to be said for confidence. Perhaps the Academic Festival Overture ran long on some evenings.

        and subsequent dates

        • Musician says:

          Encores are added to the event program page on the CSO website only after they have been performed. They are not listed in advance.

          Overtime for a regular CSO concert is 2 hours and 15 minutes. That’s almost exactly how long the Thursday night performance ran, with no encore. When the first night goes that long, subsequent performances will usually have a shortened intermission. That would then allow time for an brief encore.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Cynics may dismiss it as a tasteful publicity stunt. Yet it is beautiful playing, with nice resonance that can’t be found in Orchestra Hall. With such good music making I see no room for cynicism, only for enjoyment. Thank you, Ms. Hahn.

    • Wladek says:

      Yes ! an arrogant publicity stunt about covers it. Seems Ms. Hahn has come to believe in her own
      publicity. May be she should start phoning in all
      her concerts …there are a hundred out there to
      take her space ”live” who play as well if not better. .

  • Frances Shelly says:

    Thank you, Hilary! I was there on Thursday of last week, and I really wanted an encore. I was one of the many that were hootin’ and hollerin’, hoping for an encore. It was the most amazing, stunning, fun! exhilar(y)ating performance I have heard in my 72 years. Now I understand why you couldn’t play an encore. But how gracious and generous of you to record and “phone in” this Bach Gigue. Thank you!!!

    • Chuck says:

      I was there as well. Musicality in spades and no affectations. As good as it gets as far as I am concerned (I’m 69 years old, a 32-year CSO subscriber, and I attend about 20 concerts per season). Sublime performance. Huge show of audience appreciation, and entirely appropriate. I think we all loved it. Hilary, pleas come back to Chicago soon! We love you!

  • Bacharack says:

    Her Bach isn’t to my taste, but she is very classy, and an amazing player. Nice job Hilary!

  • JPAULO says:

    Just stunning !! I had the great fortune to meet Hilary a few years back. She has amazing star quality both onstage and off. Some people just shine a bit brighter than most of us mere mortals. Lol. She was just as gracious as she was gifted. The ability and work ethic combined with a true appreciation of her fans makes her even more rare. Her recordings are among the best, but I swear she sounds even better live.

  • muslit says:

    I wish she’d spend more time personalizing her generic music making than doing the cute thing.

  • Freddynyc says:

    Not really of big fan of hers however I have never heard this particular movement played with such nuance and musicality…..

  • Been Here Before says:

    I have two first row tickets for Hilary Hahn’s sold out Wigmore Hall recital on May 30 (next Thursday). She will be playing an all-Bach program.

    This is a chance for one lucky Slippediscer to go with me and hear this fabulous violinist live. Please respond below and I will post my contact e-mail address. Frequent, well informed and kind commentators will be given preference.

  • Mock Mahler says:

    I’m not sure what the “program structure” was (or means), but last evening at Strathmore Evgeny Kissin played a nearly two-hour program, then four encores, then signed CDs.

  • Jack says:

    I’ve taken to leaving all concerts before the encore. Great artists don’t need to ‘tip’ the audience after an evening of great performances.