Hilary Hahn | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Hilary Hahn 

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Violinist Hilary Hahn entered the Curtis Institute of Music at age 10, appeared with the Baltimore Symphony at 11, received an Avery Fisher Career Grant at 15, and debuted at Carnegie Hall at 16. Now 27, she's played with nearly every major orchestra, making her CSO debut this weekend long overdue. A prolific recording artist, she's won numerous awards, but none of her releases yet top her Grammy-winning 2001 recording of the Brahms concerto. She seizes the opening bars with breathtaking fury, and as the music calms, her vibrato increases to a ravishing intensity. Consistently elegant--even during fiery virtuosic displays--her phrasing is particularly stunning in the second-movement adagio. For this concert Hahn's chosen Karl Goldmark's Violin Concerto in A Minor, op. 28 (1877), the most performed work of this otherwise forgotten composer. The orchestra's jagged rhythms precede an alluring, ever evolving melody that makes up much of the tenderhearted first movement, and a remarkably quiet, solemn adagio is followed by a dancelike allegro revealing strong Mendelssohnian influences. Also on the program are Wagner's overture to The Flying Dutchman and Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 6 (Pathetique), with its poignant finale. Charles Dutoit conducts; see also Saturday and Tuesday. a 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000, $23-$199.

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