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Curtain Up: Hailing Hadelich


By Bethany Powers '11

Published Jan 1, 2011 8:15 AM

Augustin Hadelich is hailed as one of the most extraordinary rising musicians in the world. The New Yorker marveled at his "fast-fingered brilliance" and dubbed him "a young artist with no evident limitations."

Hadelich made his Southern California debut with the L.A. Philharmonic two years ago, performing in front of thousands at the Hollywood Bowl and wowing the audience and critics alike.

The talented violinist has performed everywhere from Tokyo to Budapest, and on Feb. 20, he performs at UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library as part of the library's Chamber Music at the Clark series.


Born in Italy to German parents, it's almost hard to believe this world-class musician is only 26 years old. Hadelich's mastery of classic pieces by Bach and Beethoven harkens back to another, more romantic era. And the passion he puts into every piece might stem from the struggles he had to overcome just to continue playing.

Hadelich, who had been performing since he was 7, had a terrible accident at age 15. He was badly burned when tractor fuel caught fire on his family's vineyard in Tuscany. Some doctors told him he would never play again, but he surmounted the odds to become, according to The New York Times, "one of the most distinctive violinists of his generation."

Designed to give back to the community and heavily subsidized through outside grants, UCLA's Clark series presents top talent at a fraction of the cost of similar chamber music series and it does so in a drop-dead-gorgeous setting: the library's 1926 drawing room, complete with richly carved wood paneling, priceless Persian rugs and elaborate ceiling murals.

The catch: Demand is so high that each seat at every concert could be sold three times over. So the Clark conducts a lottery that concertgoers must enter a month before each performance.

Augustin Hadelich. Feb. 20. William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2520 Cimarron St., Los Angeles. For information, call (323) 731-8529 or visit the Clark Library. For lottery information, call Fritze Rodic at (310) 206-8552.