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27 shorts worth your encore

Grammy Award-winning violinist will play a host of encore pieces Tuesday in Santa  Fe. (Courtesy of Kasskara/dg)
Grammy Award-winning violinist will play a host of encore pieces Tuesday in Santa Fe. (Courtesy of Kasskara/dg)
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Putting together “In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores” has been a challenging, time-consuming and fascinating project for the Grammy Award-winning violinist.

“I started the project about 10 years ago,” explained Hahn by phone from Florida. “I wanted to expand the repertoire of encores and be able to play a variety of contemporary works. I listened to hours and hours of new music on websites and iTunes. I made cold calls to composers, asking them if they wanted to participate in my project of creating 27 short encore works. So many people were receptive. What I got at the end were 27 pieces written in 27 different musical languages.”

Hahn’s recital for the Santa Fe Concert Association on Tuesday night includes half of the 27 encores that have been written. Each of these works has a sponsor who paid a commission to the composer. Part of Hahn’s job was to find enough sponsors so the project could be completed.

If you go
WHAT: The Santa Fe Concert Association presents Hilary Hahn
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19
WHERE: Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe
HOW MUCH: $20-$75. Call 505-988-1234 for tickets

“It took a long time to find sponsors, but after a while people connected me to other people,” she said. “I had to look for individuals who believe in contemporary music. The entire process was much more consuming than I expected. It’s been a crazy ride.”

Thirty-three-year-old Hahn, who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia when she was 10 years and made her orchestral debut a year later with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, already has two Grammy Awards under her belt.

She’s a frequent guest artist in concert halls around the world who also has an Oscar nomination for a movie soundtrack. Always interested in new adventures, Hahn encourages herself and other musicians to find innovative ways of expressing themselves.

“As I met the composers participating in the project, I learned the variety of ways in which creative people think about writing music,” she said. “I saw how these people weren’t just good composers. They are creative in many activities in their lives.”

Among the composers whose works Hahn plays during her Santa Fe recital are Antón Garcia Abril, Mason Bates, David Lang, Michiru Oshima, Kala Ramnath and Valentin Silvestrov.

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