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Music Talks > 2015 Spring

Music Club: Wednesday 1 April 2015 (7 pm)

Title: Violin Concerto in D major
Composer: Brahms
Performers: Hilary Hahn (Violin) with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra - Paavo Jarvi (Conductor)
Facilitator: Akram Najjar

Brahms: (adapted from Wikipedia Click Here)
Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable; following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs".

Brahms composed for piano, chamber ensembles, symphony orchestra, and for voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works; he worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim. Brahms, an uncompromising perfectionist, destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished.

Brahms is often considered both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Baroque and Classical masters. He was a master of counterpoint, the complex and highly disciplined art for which Johann Sebastian Bach is famous, and of development, a compositional ethos pioneered by Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and other composers. Brahms aimed to honor the "purity" of these venerable "German" structures and advance them into a Romantic idiom, in the process creating bold new approaches to harmony and melody. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms's works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers.

Interesting Links about Brahms:

Click Here (Biography)
Click Here (a comprehensive list of his works in Classical Archives)
Click Here (Naxos)
Click Here (Classical.net)
Click Here (Brahms website)

Interesting Links about the Violin Concerto:
Click Here (Analysis of the First Movement with timings)
Click Here (La Phil)
Click Here (Rachel Barton Pine Review)
Click Here (Hub Pages)
Hilary Hahn (adapted from Wikipedia Click Here)
Facebook: Click Here
Hilary Hahn's Website Click Here

Hilary Hahn (born November 27, 1979) is an American violinist. In her active international career she has performed throughout the world both as a soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and as a recitalist. She also has built a reputation for championing contemporary music. Several composers have written works specially for her, including concerti by Edgar Meyer and Jennifer Higdon.

In 1996 when she was sixteen years old, Hahn began her recording career. To date she has released 15 albums on the Deutsche Grammophon and Sony labels, in addition to three DVDs, an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack, an award-winning recording for children, and various compilations. Her recordings are often marked by a blending of newer and traditional pieces.[11] Her albums include pairings of Beethoven with Leonard Bernstein, Schoenberg with Sibelius, Brahms with Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky with Jennifer Higdon.

Hahn has played with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. She debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in March 2007, and played in Vatican City as part of the celebrations for Pope Benedict XVI together with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gustavo Dudamel, also in 2007. The concert was recorded and later released by Deutsche Grammophon.

In addition to being a solo violinist, Hahn has also performed as a chamber musician. Since the summer of 1992 she has performed nearly every year with the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival in Skaneateles, New York. Between 1995 and 2000 she performed and studied chamber music at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont,[21] and in 1996 she served as an artist and a member of the chamber music mentoring program of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

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