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Hilary's 'Hahn-line' journal

Friday, September 15, 2000

Some excerpts from Hilary Hahn's journal entries, found at

April 12, 1999 -- Pittsburgh, PA
It's been a very enjoyable week. I know a number of members of this orchestra, and it was fun to see them again...

The city is having a big bash tonight, to celebrate the renaming of one of the major bridges nearby -- there's supposed to be a fireworks display, and the hotel told me that I'll be able to see them from my window...[Heinz Hall] ranks among the most beautiful halls I've played in, basically white with gold decoration around the walls, ceiling, and balconies, and an aesthetically balanced stage setup...I had a newly furnished two-room dressing suite on the second floor, and I could practice there during the performance without worrying about the sound carrying down to the concert hall. All in all, it was a good trip, and I'm looking forward to the next time I get to play there.

October 25, 1999 -- Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood
(Pittsburgh, PA)

Greetings from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood! I just left the set of Fred Rogers' wonderful television show for children after an afternoon of taping a segment with Mr. Rogers and his friends. It'll appear on an episode that's scheduled to air on February 25, 2000.

August 26, 2000 -- Skaneateles, NY
Greetings, and good news from Skaneateles! In the year since I was last here, the friends I stay with at the Skaneateles Festival acquired a 2-year-old dog, a Corgi named Hans. He loves attention. If you pet him on the head, he rolls over onto his back and waits to have his tummy scratched. Walks make him very happy, and if you take him out one morning, he begins herding you toward the door the next morning to take him out again. Since I like dogs and like to take them on walks, Hans and I have gotten along really well.

June 16, 2000 -- Boston, MA
Bummer: my "earlybird" flight out of Boston was just canceled, so I'm sitting cross-legged on the floor of the airport, trying to keep my eyes open, watching Dad advance along a long zigzagging line of people in front of the U.S. Airways reservation desk, hoping to change our tickets...

I came to Boston two days ago, the morning after a recital in Philadelphia, with my keynote speech all prepared for the American Symphony Orchestra League ....Later I went out for a walk around Boston, to get some photos and a feel for the city. As I passed through a public park, I suddenly found myself in the middle of an open-air folk-music festival. The performers and the audience looked like they could have stepped right out of the 1960s -- bellbottoms, beads, easy-going geniality and all...

While I was out, I dropped by a violin shop to visit with the owner and have my violin pegs checked out by the violin maker who installed them the last time I was in Boston. While there, I played a little on one of the maker's new violins (only two weeks old) and fiddled around with another violin from the middle 1700s. Since I hadn't touched a violin for nearly 40 hours (something very rare for me), my hands felt like mush, so I warmed up slowly and eventually things felt normal again...

February 18, 2000 -- Helsinki, Finland
Greetings from Helsinki...Fortunately, I decided to stay over in Helsinki for an extra day after my concerts. So this afternoon I'm going to finish my practice early, bundle up in my coat, an extra sweater, my scarf, hat, and warmest mittens, and break out of the hotel so I can finally take my camera on a walk downtown to see this beautiful city up close. I'm tired of being a weather wimp.

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