Violinist William Hagen is bringing international experience to his performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto today on the campus of BYU-Idaho.
Hagen, an internationally-acclaimed performing violinist from Salt Lake City, will perform tonight in the Barrus Concert Hall in the Snow Building.
The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets were still available as of this morning at $6 for BYU-Idaho students and $10 for the general public. Those are available here.
Prior to the event, Hagen sat down to speak about the performance and his career in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.
This is the first time Hagen, who has played everywhere from London and Paris to Serbia and Savannah, will be performing the Beethoven Violin Concerto, which is widely considered to be one of the greatest concertos ever written.
Originally created for piano performance, the piece is quite long for a concerto—roughly 45 minutes. Clearly, that’s a lot to memorize, but Hagen described a unique approach to preparing for a performance.
“If you’re telling a story rather than just putting your fingers in the right place, then you can memorize,” he said. “If you’re just worried about putting your fingers in the right place, then it turns into this nightmare.”
He’s been listening to that piece, which he described as “pure,” for many years, which undoubtedly gave him some help in that memorization part.
Hagen began playing the violin at age four, after begging for one as a gift as a three-year-old. It was winning a competition at age eight that helped him realize he could pursue music. This helped shift his eight-year-old mind away from baseball and toward the violin.
Simply put, “I just love playing the violin,” he said.
The violinist is through his studying years and is spending more and more time teaching now, he said.
Teaching private lessons has been a learning experience for him, as well, though. It’s helped him share his love for music with others.
“Classical music just creates this emotion inside you…which, at least I, feel so deeply,” he said. “It’s my interpretation, nobody can tell me it’s wrong. Everybody in the audience listening to the Beethoven [concerto] could have a completely different impression of what’s going on.”
Though being a professional musician is difficult, citing the relatively low-level of predictability as to where and when performances and recordings will come, Hagen said it’s his love for music that keeps him motivated.
The artist’s official website is williamhagen.com.