By Scott Iwasaki for parkrecord

Civil unrest and the coronavirus pandemic in Haiti over the past two years have prevented Utah Symphony musicians from going on their annual spring trips to work with music teachers and students at the Haitian Orchestra Institute.

Still, these challenges haven’t discouraged cellist John Eckstein and violinist Yuki MacQueen from planning a new music-training trip to the country with their colleagues in the spring of 2022.

They are hosting a Sept. 14 fundraiser, featuring award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, to benefit the institute’s students.

The fundraiser is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour at the new Goldener Hirsch Residences at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake, said Utah Symphony | Utah Opera trustee Joanne Shiebler, who is the chair of Haitian Orchestra Institute.

“The evening will start with two amateur violinists who will greet the guests with fiddle music, which will be a complete contrast to the performance Hilary Hahn will play later that evening,” Shiebler said. “It will be a fun way to start the night.”

Attendees will also enjoy a light buffet of hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and the performance by Hahn, she said.

MacQueen is grateful Hahn, who will open the Utah Symphony’s 2021-22 season the following weekend, agreed to participate in the fundraiser.

“She just doesn’t do anything that comes her way,” MacQueen said. “She did a lot of research and asked us some very probing questions. So it is an honor that she is doing this for us.”

Hahn was 11 when she performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, her major-orchestra debut, in 1991. Since then she’s performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

She has also commissioned works by such modern-day composers as Du Yun, Edgar Meyer and Jennifer Higdon. The Higdon work, Violin Concerto Monday, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

“Having someone such as Hilary in a setting like this instead of a 3,000-seat concert hall is rare,” Eckstein said. “We are delighted.”Continue reading

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