Records seem to indicate that it has been quite some time since violinist Hilary Hahn has performed in Davies Symphony Hall. Her last visit to San Francisco was more recent: in April of 2015 in the final recital of that season’s Virtuoso Series presented by San Francisco Performances (SFP). She prepared a program that combined a solo partita by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1006 in E major) with sonatas by Robert Schumann and Claude Debussy along with selections from her major commissioning project In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores. (A more extensive account of that project was presented by SFP in February of 2013.) Her last appearance as a concerto soloist, however, appears to have been in May of 2012, when she performed Sergei Prokofiev’s Opus 19 (first) violin concerto in D major in Davies with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) led by Osmo Vänskä. At that time her Encores project was just getting under way; but she was able to offer a preview by taking as her encore for that evening Nico Muhly’s “Two Voices.” This season Hahn’s work includes a residence at the Seattle Symphony, which will involve not only performing but also participating in educational programs and community outreach. Finally, Hahn’s violin case has become her representative in the world of social media with @violincase serving as the handle for both Twitter and Instagram.
During the final week of this month, Hahn will return. This time she will perform as one of the Great Performers recitalists in a program presented by SFS in Davies. Once again she will present recently commissioned works. One of these will involve a participant in her Encores project, the Spanish composer Antón García Abril. Abril composed a set of six partitas for solo violin for Hahn, and she will perform selections from the collection. She will also perform “Blue Curve of the Earth,” which she commissioned from Tina Davidson.
The remainder of the program will be divided between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. The earliest piece will be Bach’s BWV 1005 sonata in C major for solo violin (which will be coupled with Abril’s solo violin partita movements). Hahn will also perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s K. 379 sonata in G major and Aaron Copland’s sonata. For both of these pieces her accompanist will be pianist Cory Smythe.
Hahn’s performance will take place only once in Davies at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. Ticket prices range from $15 to $130 and may be purchased through the event page on the SFS Web site. Tickets may also be purchased at the Davies Box Office on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street or by calling 415-864-6000.