Hilary Hahn receives prestigious Avery Fisher Prize

By Adela Skowronski |

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Violinist Hilary Hahn, framed by flowers, gazes at her violin in front of a burnt orange wall

Hilary Hahn (Photo: OJ Slaughter)

After her performance of Prokofiev’s first violin concerto received thunderous applause, soloist Hilary Hahn was surprised with another honor: the 2024 Avery Fisher Prize. The announcement was delivered from the stage of David Geffen Hall by Deborah Borda, Chair of the Avery Fisher Artist Program, following Hahn’s performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic.

It was a special occasion in the violinist’s already brilliant career. The Avery Fisher Prize is one of the highest accolades in classical music, given to professionals whose work in the genre has a global impact. It is the second time Hahn has been honored by the organization: her first recognition came in the form of an Avery Fisher Career Grant at the age of 15, given to encourage promising young artists to pursue classical music. 

From debuting with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the age of twelve, to her current work with the world’s best orchestras, Hilary Hahn has become a shining example of what it means to be a 21st century violinist. The 2024 Avery Fisher Prize recognizes not just Hahn’s virtuosic playing, but also her philanthropy and mentorship within classical music.

She has been a staunch supporter of living composers, commissioning numerous new pieces and collaborating with a plethora of diverse artists. When asked what she plans to do with the award’s $100,000 prize money, Hahn replied that she will “probably pay some of it forward.

In addition to a busy concert schedule, Hahn currently serves as the CSO’s first-ever artist-in-residence.

2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the Avery Fisher Prize, which was established by the late Avery Fisher to commend outstanding accomplishments in classical music. The program provides recognition of both soloists and chamber ensembles in two categories: the Avery Fisher Prize and Avery Fisher Career Grants, the latter of which is given to encourage young performers to continue pursuing classical music as a career. Previous recipients of the organization’s top prize include Anthony McGill, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Emerson String Quartet.