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Will 27 Pieces Win Violinist Hilary Hahn One More Grammy Award?


[Update: Yes! Hilary Hahn won in her category on February 8, 2015]

An encore may be played after a scheduled piece. However, it’s not an afterthought. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, violinist Hillary Hahn’s collection of commissioned encores, that is up for a GRAMMY for "Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance" at next month’s ceremony, showcases more than two dozen such works for violin and piano.

Radio script:

Susan Lewis: Encores are typically short: Max Richter’s just over five-and-a-half-minute work, Mercy, is part of violinist Hilary Hahn’s CD compilation, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, as is Jennifer Higdon’s Echo Dash at 2 minutes and 17 seconds. Hahn wanted to encourage new works in the genre.

Hilary Hahn: In my project, I really wanted to do a collection of pieces that represent a range of styles today. I also wanted to feel drawn to those composers...I spent several months listening to all the music I could find, and then cold calling.
SL: She ended up with 26 composers, and held a contest for the 27th. She toured with the finished works, among them, Mason Bates’ Fords Farm. What makes a good encore?
HH: I personally tend to play more lyrical encores. But I like to have the quicker, flashy encores at the ready, because you never know when you’re going to need a second one, or maybe you feel energetic. It’s really good to have this range.

In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, is out on the Deutsche Grammophon label. The Grammy Awards ceremony takes place on February 8, 2015.

Listen to more of Hilary Hahn's conversation with WRTI's Susan Lewis about about the violinist's encore project.


As senior producer of arts and culture, Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and producer of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series, to which she also contributes weekly intermission interviews. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.