Hilary Hahn and a World Premiere at Strathmore

Hilary Hahn (Photo by Michael Patrick O’Leary)

Antón García Abril, Partita 1: Heart
Mozart, Sonata for Piano and Violin in G Major, K. 379
Antón García Abril, Partita 2: Immensity
Antón García Abril, Partita 3: Love
Copland, Sonata for Violin and Piano

Violinist Hilary Hahn’s recital Tuesday night at Strathmore was not just a concert. It was a test of the direction and leadership of one of the foremost arts organizations in the nation’s capital.

Why such high stakes? Since taking charge of Washington Performing Arts in 2013, President Jenny Bilfield has sought to shake up what she sees as the stodgy, traditional model of presenting classical music. The organization has increasingly focused on contemporary works, crossover artists and unconventional formats. The most lasting legacy could come from its initiative to commission new music for major artists. In Bilfield’s telling, she has been asking performers to come to her with projects they would actually like to do.

The fruits of such a conversation were on display Tuesday, with Hahn premiering the first three of six unaccompanied partitas for solo violin, which WPA commissioned from Spanish composer Antón García Abril at Hahn’s request…

Read the full review here (Washington Post, April 20, 2016).

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