By Hilary C., Grade 11 student
On January 14, 2023, I, along with three others, were given the opportunity to play for Hilary Hahn in a masterclass provided by the VSO School of Music. Hilary Hahn is a world-renowned violinist and three-time Grammy Award winner. Hilary Hahn started her solo career at age 11 with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and later gained international recognition after she made her debut in Germany with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. At the age of only 16, Hilary Hahn became one of the youngest musicians to get a recording contract with Sony Classical Records. Hilary Hahn is a well respected violinist appreciated by many from all over the world.
A masterclass is a music lesson given from someone who has expert skill and knowledge in the particular area; usually happening in front of an audience. In the masterclass, I performed the Bach Fugue in G minor from Sonata. No.1. Hilary Hahn taught each person separately in thirty minute rotations, she gave each of us tips that would benefit us individually. Each person’s turn started off with Hilary Hahn asking what they struggled with in the piece and also something they learned from the piece. We would then perform the piece as if it were a performance for the audience, and when we were finished, she would provide us with tips. For me personally, I told her that I struggled with intonation and finding the correct mood and phrasing for different parts of the Fugue. She then told me that being familiar with hand positioning for every chord is very important, as well as taking all the repeating themes and cutting them up to choose what mood I would like for each one. The whole experience was amazing, I learned a lot and I enjoyed every moment of it.