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Earth Shattering Violinist Makes Debut With NZSO


4 May 2004

The Radio Network present


The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra presents 'American Beauty' - Hilary Hahn, one of the world's violin superstars, throughout the North Island during May. She will perform, the virtuosic Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 with guest conductor, Christian Gansch, in Auckland on Friday, 28 May at the Town Hall.

At only 24, Grammy-Award winning violinist, Hahn has been described by Gramophone Magazine, as 'Young, wise, tough, romantic, hard-nosed, girlish - the paradoxes are as intriguing as the musical gifts are rare' and by Time Magazine 'America's Best - masterly onstage and a webmaster on the Net, she's a virtuoso with a 21st century sensibility'. She began violin lessons one month before her fourth birthday, entered Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music at 10, made her first major orchestral debut at the age of 12 with the Baltimore Symphony and signed an exclusive recording contract at 16.

Hilary's first performance with a chamber orchestra, at the age of 11, was with the Soloists of Philadelphia, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who is now Music Director of the Auckland Philharmonia.

Alongside the Paganini Violin Concerto, the orchestra will also perform in this concert Rossini's exciting La Cenerentola overture followed by Schubert's tour de force, his Ninth Symphony, the 'Great' written in the final year of his short life.

Austrian-born Christian Gansch's conducting career began in 1985 with Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and The Firebird for Deutsche Oper Berlin, which led to an invitation to conduct the Berlin Symphony at the Berlin Philharmonie. Gansch has worked with numerous European orchestras and since 1998 has been a regular guest conductor of the Russian National Orchestra. He made his Proms debut in 2003 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales which was televised by the BBC. He made his NZSO debut in 2003 when he replaced Dr Franz-Paul Decker at short notice.

In the second series, on Saturday 29 May at the Auckland Town Hall, Hahn will perform Barber's Violin Concerto, with which she has long been closely associated. A composer of neo-Romanticism music, Barber was also a child prodigy, himself entering the Curtis Institute at the age of 14. Hahn recorded the Barber Concerto at only 19 years of age and the recoding has been described by Edward Greenfield, Gramophone Magazine as, 'among the finest on disc' and has won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and the 1999 Cannes Classical Award.

Under the baton of Christian Gansch, the orchestra will also perform the hummable themes of Copeland's Applachian Spring Suite, a 'brief encounter' will introduce Mozart's great Jupiter Symphony.

For more information on Hilary Hahn check out her online journal on




Series 1

Friday 28 May, 6.30 pm TOWN HALL AUCKLAND

A virtuosic showcase for the remarkable young violinist Hilary Hahn, introduced by an exciting Rossini overture and followed by Schubert's tour de force, his Ninth Symphony, the 'Great'.

Christian Gansch conductor
Hilary Hahn violin
ROSSINI La Cenerentola Overture
PAGANINI Violin Concerto No 1 in D
SCHUBERT Symphony No 9 'Great'

Series 2

Saturday 29 May, 8.00pm TOWN HALL AUCKLAND

Two American beauties open this concert - the humble themes of Appalachian Spring and the neo-romantic Barber Violin Concerto in the hands of young American superstar Hilary Hahn, plus a' brief encounter'. What better way to top off the evening than Mozart's great Jupiter Symphony?

Christian Gansch conductor
Hilary Hahn violin
COPLAND Appalachian Spring Suite
BARBER Violin Concerto
MOZART Symphony No 41 'Jupiter'


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