In 2016, twenty-something violin virtuoso William Hagen will perform in Tokyo, Brussels, Los Angles, Sofia, Bulgaria and, yes, Key West. Young Mr. Hagen will delight local audiences when he makes his Key West debut as Impromptu Classical Concerts’ guest soloist at St. Paul’s Church on Sunday, January 31st, 4:00P. Despite his youth, he performs with “an intellectual command of line and score, and just the right amount of power” (The Dallas Morning News). He is not without enthusiasm for his upcoming visit. “I have never been to South Florida at all, so I am extremely excited to visit the Keys! I hear only wonderful things, and I’m really delighted to be coming.”
And concertizing on the road can provide some unusual moments for a musician, especially if a musically precocious infant is involved. “I remember a concert from years ago where I was soloing with orchestra in a big hall, and during a cadenza where I was playing all alone, I landed on a long held note, and something sounded a little funny.” He continues, “As I moved on to the next note, I realized that there was a baby crying in the audience, and it’s cry had started out on the exact same pitch as the note I was holding! It was a pretty bizarre moment. Maybe the baby knew exactly what it was doing and really meant to be wailing away on the same note that I was playing!”
Mr. Hagen has given his Key West program careful thought. “I really like to mix things up for my programs, so hopefully the audience will get a little bit of everything.” His set opens with “a beautiful, sweet little Mozart Sonata (Violin Sonata no. 18 in G Major, KV 301). This sonata is very well-known and well-loved, and deservedly so. It is beautiful and innocent and it puts a smile on your face.”
He introduces a change of pace – or more correctly “tempo” – with his second number. “I will move on to Prokofiev’s second Violin Sonata, which is something completely different. Prokofiev does such an amazing job of taking the listener to a different world with his music – I always feel like I’m listening to a fairy tale. Stylistically, it is so different from the Mozart, and I think it will be a really nice contrast.”
The smiles continue after intermission. “I will play the Tartini/Fritz Kreisler “Devil’s Trill” Sonata. This is a crowd favorite, and it is one of my favorite violin pieces. It is extremely virtuosic, but also extremely beautiful. Great baroque melodies, lots of trills and technical challenges, and a lot of really exciting moments.” Friedrich “Fritz” Kreisler (1875-1962) was an Austrian-born violin master who was celebrated as one of the world’s greatest virtuosos. But you know that. William Hagen provides an exciting finish to his program. He will play Tzigane by Ravel which he describes as “a rip-snortin’ gypsy-style show-stopper.”
Concert tickets are $20 at the door one hour before the performance or online: Keystix.com or classicalconcertskw.com. Any questions please call 305.745.2283, Season subscription pass (6 concerts) – $100. Subscription passes can be used for all concerts or for multiple guests at one or more concerts. All students free.