Violinist William Hagen brings many gifts to his 3:00pm Sunday performance at Barrington’s White House. His greatest gift, perhaps, comes courtesy of prominent Barrington philanthropist Mary B. Galvin.
Hagen will play an extraordinary violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, a 1735 ‘Sennhauser’ on loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago, co-founded by Galvin in 1985. The Society’s patrons, according to its web site, are “dedicated to the preservation and pursuit of excellence in classical music by identifying the world’s most promising young artists and uniting them with the superb, rare antique Italian instruments they need to begin and sustain their professional careers.”
Hagen fits that definition. Hailed as a “brilliant virtuoso . . . a standout” by the Dallas Morning News, Hagen took third prize in the prestigious 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition, making him the highest ranked American since 1985.
“(The Sennhauser) is an amazing instrument,” he said from his home in Kronberg, Germany last week before beginning his journey here. “It’s really great to be able to come and play Mrs. Galvin’s violin for her. I’m so lucky to be able to play on it.” Galvin was married for 67 years to former Motorola CEO Robert W. Galvin, who died in 2011.
Members of the Modern Jazz Quartet lavished praise on Barrington’s White House during their visit last fall. The ballroom acoustics, and intimacy with the audience, make it a “special venue,” they said.
“If the Quartet was happy, I’m sure I will be happy for my program too,” he said.
VIP tickets for the event are $40 (Includes premiere seating and a post-event reception) $30 for adults and $10 for students.
A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Hagen first heard the violin when he was 3. His parents succumbed to his constant pleas for his own instrument the next year. He enjoyed playing many sports as a kid, dreaming of playing for the Utah Jazz or San Francisco’s 49ers or Giants.
“And then I heard Itzhak Perlman play and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to be a concert pianist,” Hagen said. At age 10, he commuted weekly to Los Angeles to study with Robert
Lipsett at the Colburn Community School of the Performing Arts, considered L.A.’s premiere performing arts school for young students.
Next up, two years at New York’s famed Julliard School with his idol, Perlman.
“He was such a great teacher for me,” Hagen said. “It was such an amazing experience to have things come full circle and study with someone whom I had idolized.”
Hagen now attends the Kronberg Academy in Frankfurt where he recently performed the Korngold Violin Concerto. Pianist Albert Cano Smit will accompany Hagen’s performance Sunday. Selections include: Beethoven: Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47, “Kreutzer”; Bach: Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004; Kreisler: Berceuse Romantique and La Gitana; Kreisler/Chaminade: Serenade Espagnole; Ravel: Tzigane.