In January of 2011, violinist Hilary Hahn used her Web site to announce her In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores project. As she put it, her goal was “to expand the encore genre to embrace works of different styles.” To this end, the announcement listed 26 composers who would be commissioned to provide works for the project: Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Lera Auerbach, Richard Barrett, Mason Bates, Tina Davidson, David Del Tredici, Avner Dorman, Søren Nils Eichberg, Christos Hatzis, Jennifer Higdon, James Newton Howard, Bun-Ching Lam, David Lang, Edgar Meyer, Paul Moravec, Nico Muhly, Michiru Oshima, Krzysztof Penderecki, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Max Richter, Somei Satoh, Elliott Sharp, Valentine Silvestrov, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Gillian Whitehead, and Du Yun.
By October enough of the submissions had arrived and been mastered that Hahn could begin incorporating them in her performance schedule. The composers represented on that “first round” were Auerbach, Davidson, Dorman, Eichberg, Hatzis, Higdon, Lam, Moravec, Muhly, Rautavaara, Richter, Satoh, and Whitehead. Later that month Hahn announced that the 27th encore would be selected competitively among pieces that would be submitted to her Web site. While the winner of this competition was being decided, San Francisco got its first taste of the project in May of 2012 when Hahn performed Muhly’s “Two Voices” as an encore following her performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Opus 19 violin concert in D major (his first) with Osmo Vänskä conducting the San Francisco Symphony. The competition winner, “The Angry Birds of Kauai” by Jeff Myers, was then announced the following month.
Next month Hahn will bring the results of her project to Herbst Theatre for a recital presented by San Francisco Performances (SFP). She will perform with pianist Cory Smythe as her accompanist. The collection now includes two composers who were not in the original list, the Indian classical violinist Kala Ramnath and Antón García Abril. The other composers whose encores will be performed will be Howard, Del Tredici, Lang, Bates, Ali-Zadeh, Yun, Turnage, Silvestrov, and Barrett. These pieces will be interspersed throughout the program, which will also include the Ciaconna movement from Johann Sebastian Bach’s BWV 1004 solo violin partita in D minor and Gabriel Fauré’s Opus 13 four-movement sonata in A major.
This recital will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, in Herbst Theatre (410 Van Ness Avenue). Tickets are on sale for $80, $59 $39. Further information may be obtained from SFP at 415-392-2545. Tickets may also be purchased through the Web page for this event.