Halfway through a Lebrecht Interview for the upcoming BBC Radio 3 series, Hilary Hahn took control and demanded: ‘But what about you? I want to know what you think musicians should be doing in this situation. You’re supposed to be the expert. Where’s it all going?’
It was an astute interjection, cleverly deflecting my line of questioning from areas where the hard-headed violinist did not want to go and putting the pressure on the interviewer to come up with an instant panacea. Did I pass the test? You’ll have to hear the programme, which goes out some time in July or August. But I liked Hilary all the more for her initiative and the moment loosened her up for the rest of the conversation as much as it did me.
She insisted afterwards that we had photos taken making funny faces to belie my description of her as the most serious violinist of her generation. In the course of time, you’ll see the pictures on the BBC website. Tomorrow night, Hilary will be playing Jennifer Hidgon’s concerto in Liverpool with Vasily Petrenko and recording it for Deutsche Grammophon the following day.