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Hilary Hahn chats up the winner of her Encores sweep (hint: she should stick to the night job)

Hilary is all excited about Jeff Myers, whose “Angry Birds of Kauai” is the Grand Prize winner of “In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores” contest”. So she filmed what looks like a skype conversation and posted it on Youtube.

Problem: Hilary’s a lovely musician but she has no clue how to run an interview.

Sample: ‘Er, how would you say… was it an easy piece to write… what do you feel?’ Those angry birds were lucky to escape alive.


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  1. I thought it was a nice friendly light discussion about the work. She seems like a genuinely nice person.

  2. Norman, please forgive her for not being you.

  3. Pat O'Duill says:

    The goldfish interview is still her only worthy attempt.

  4. Back in the ’90s, when still a kid, she was a pioneer in using the Web fruitfully (to the great joy of Sony Classical) and blogging to connect with her audience. She did tremendous service to classical music because of the large number of young people who followed her enthusiastically. Her connection with her audience is just what we should be hoping for in more artists of her calibre.

    Or we can snipe at her for not being a professional interviewer.

    • Bravo, DirkVA!! Well said! I applaud you!

      This is true, and I love the videos as well, even though I did think the fish video was weird at first, but I love that Hilary does this for the audience.

  5. Rosenkav says:

    Who the hell cares whether she can conduct an interview??? So-called “journalists” are a dime a dozen.

  6. Florestan says:

    Just please Norman, promise you won’t post on YouTube your performance of Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen.

  7. Here’s an interview with Ivry Gitlis and Hilary

    Around 13:25

    Here Hilary keeps on trying to pin Ivry down.
    If he’s talking to himself (because talking is important, otherwise you don’t know what you’re talking about) she asks him whether he answers himself (otherwise it’s just a monologue, something all poetry has just been reduced to apparently).. so he asks why she thinks that he is questioning himself and goes on about all sort of logs (epilogue, prologue or just a log).. Then when, amongst these “questions” Ivry loses his train of thought and asks “What was the question? Hilary steals his line and says that there wasn’t really a question.. (He shouldn’t have tried to answer at all!?)…

    Then she cuts off the interview although Ivry wants to continue

    Before this (5:33 Ivry talks about the Tyranny that being a prodigy can be. And I have to add here that that’s something that a friend from Ivry’s youth Josef Hassid didn’t survive, mind you. Someone of whom Kreisler said that a so and so (said to be Heifetz but was actually another violinist) comes around every 100 years, but a Hassid every 200. And the greatest accompanist the world has known who only worked with him shortly, Gerald Moore, said that Hassid was the most talented instrumentalist he ever worked with.
    Back to Gitlis. He then remarks that maybe through tyranny love can become strong and unendurably endurable. Then she asks when he started touring (!?!?!?!?) that’s an interesting modulation….Let’s move directly from Unendurably Endurable to touring.

    And then later:
    Do you still perform?
    Ivry says he used to just say well, good bye, see you later, when he hears this
    And then he says this occurred at the master class today, and he responded: Do you still breath?

    And then again

    But do you still perform?

    I never performed

    Aha, well, do you still play in a….hall?

    Which hall? I mean the whole world’s a hall

    Well, I guess what I’m asking is ,um, over however long that you consider that your touring career (yes, we’re on about touring again) to have been, or ah, whatever length of time you would care to.. no no, however long you would care to focus on – what did you find to be most challenging, about being a musician?

    Just being alive, meeting you…

    It’s very challenging?

    Well in some ways

    Because I showed up with a computer and said I’m going to interview you right off straight off?

    And then she asks him about whether he thinks things have changed when he’s teaching and stuff; but he points out that he only does this because he learns, and he’s completely sincere about this. It’s not just blah blah..

    then when he says he learns because music is life, She says it’s not eating or breathing…

    End of “transcript”

    Let’s see. When you’re singing and music is life, it’s not breathing. And when you’ve eaten (say a strawberry) and this is like love, because it makes you dizzy and you let go of your inhibitions, this isn’t music!? And the reason you eat isn’t music. And musicians apparently don’t need to eat because music isn’t eating…. (something which certainly has become a problem, so you can stop worrying about this and make Sony happy…. no I mean the other company making it thanks to this personality cult online computer stuff)

    I’m exaggerating a bit huh?

    I actually just love this interview, and am nothing but thankful that Hilary made herself vulnerable bumbling around asking impossible questions, as if Merlin is going to hand out the answer to the philosopher’s stone: A one and a two and a three….. And I wouldn’t want to miss hearing Ivry for the WORLD! So, I am really nothing but thankful to Hilary for this timeless interview. And, although it would be mildly interesting, I’m not really doing this because I’m interested in seeing if there’s as many responses from angered Hilary Fans as there have been from Evancho’s crowd. But I really would have wanted to hear as much from Ivry as he was ready to give. Which is what he’s doing.

    • Thank you for this! He is a true original. I’m not sure if Hilary understands what he is talking about, but I’m glad that she provided this crashing of one musical world into another.

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