Augustin Hadelich

Edited: September 11, 2020, 10:43 PM · This just impressed me no end! I hope you like it too.

Replies (43)

September 12, 2020, 7:34 AM · Yes! I don't know another classically trained violinist who can swing like that
September 12, 2020, 8:39 AM · There's Giles Apap, who I think is the king of multi-genre playing...
September 12, 2020, 11:33 AM · YES! Me too-- Thank you!
Edited: September 12, 2020, 12:22 PM · Don Noon, Thank you for that, It was crazy! I love it!
September 12, 2020, 1:29 PM · He is wonderful! He was also scheduled to perform in Indianapolis next - of course the important word is "was"...
Edited: September 12, 2020, 5:13 PM · There's no limit to what you can accomplish with technique and taste. But lose the Nehru jacket, seriously.
September 12, 2020, 6:21 PM · He can wear whatever he wants when he can play like that.

Come to think of it, me too, in my room.

September 12, 2020, 6:44 PM · Paul's posts are usually interesting-- but wanting Hadelich to play topless...?
September 12, 2020, 6:48 PM · The mandarin collar is where it's at, comfort-wise. Between Nehru and Gandhi, I'd say Nehru is the more appropriate stage attire.
September 13, 2020, 2:47 AM · The Nehru look is a lot better than a tight black jacket with a single button above the navel leaving an expanse of rumpled white shirt visible below. Especially if you're a conductor addressing a TV audience of millions.
Edited: September 13, 2020, 10:37 AM · I have no problem with the Mandarin collar. Joshua Bell wears them too, and I can understand why.

My problem with Hadelich's jacket is, first, the color and sheen of the material, which I would expect to see on a figure skater, not a violinist. Was this jacket made for a performance with Andre Rieu? Second, the garment looks ill-fitting, which I suspect is either the fault of the tailor or the selection of fabric, and partly that's just the Nehru jacket style.

But mostly, the whole problem with the standard jacket for men, with its modeling and padding in the upper chest, sleeves, and shoulders, is that it looks fantastic when it is hanging on a mannequin or worn by a businessman whose elbows never have to be elevated above his waist. But suit and tuxedo jackets have always looked distorted and just plain terrible on men playing the violin. Look at the thumbnail image for Hadelich's video -- you can see how the shoulder pad has forced itself on the sleeve and collar. It can't be comfortable to play like that. Soloists have spent fortunes having their jackets altered (sleeve length, modeling, opening the arm holes, etc.) to alleviate the strain of playing in a jacket but it still just looks terrible. I'm very much in favor of Josh Bell's look which is just a dark shirt.

September 13, 2020, 10:39 AM · Funny, I didn't notice what Augustin was wearing, I was listening to the playing. Probably because Mr. Hadelich is the best violinist in the world...imho.
Edited: September 13, 2020, 11:28 AM · Oh sure, Peter, I'm reeling from your snarky condescension, implying that I had no ear for his beautiful playing, which I acknowledged in my previous post.

But if not to make a visual impression, why have a video at all? And why go to a tailor and order up a bespoke purple satin Nehru jacket for the occasion? (Or did he get it at Goodwill?)

September 13, 2020, 12:44 PM · Well Paul, as soon as you're done reeling - maybe you should consider he has burns on the upper part of his body and can't wear the kind of form fitting clothes that would make you happier.
Edited: September 13, 2020, 5:46 PM · Peter yes I thought about that, and of course he would get a pass if that were the case. But your sad attempt to shame me by suggesting that I haven't considered Mr. Hadelich's hardships falls a little flat. I took a little spin through the first few dozen pictures of Mr. Hadelich that came up on "Google Images," and in most of them he's wearing ordinary shirts, often Oxfords. And even if he's more comfortable in the Nehru jacket -- after all the Nehru completely conceals the waistline where men's clothes often bind -- does it have to be purple satin? He's got other colors in his closet. Here's a great picture of him wearing ivory (link below) and he looks much better in this -- both the fabric and the tailoring/modeling of the suit seem better suited to a performing violinist.

Please don't feel that I'm singling out this violinist. I don't like Hilary Hahn's earrings either.

September 13, 2020, 6:07 PM · What a fantastic player!
Edited: September 13, 2020, 7:06 PM · Hadelich's technique is otherwordly, but his presentation is sooo dry. I don't know anyone around here who's heard of him—this is definitely not a time for serious, reserved, Heifetz types.
He could be absolutely great if he gave some attention to the visual side of things. And working with younger artists wouldn't hurt. I mean, take a page out of Hahn's book...
September 13, 2020, 7:50 PM · Tough crowd.
September 13, 2020, 7:53 PM · I do not mind the color or the jacket-like it, actually. But I do have an independent streak.

Most players would like to be "Heifetz-types"... even the "non-serious" ones, whatever that may mean. Though I get the point. However, I do not see Heifetz as a really "dry" player... some of the "fun" players can sound dry. And yes, there are great living modern players.

Be well-do not mean to disrespect anyone.

Edited: September 13, 2020, 8:13 PM · The elegance of Hadelich's style is one of his clear strengths. The fact is that not a lot of violinists can pull off a more reserved and respectful approach to interpretation. It requires extreme control and a very sensitive ear for subtlety, not to mention absolute perfection in rhythm and intonation. HH is criticized for being dry too. It's just because she doesn't gyrate on stage like Jansen, but both are great violinists to listen to. Likewise Hadelich needn't take any pages from Chuanyun Li's book any time soon.

But in response to Cotton, any serious violin student who hasn't heard of Hadelich has to be living in a cave. I think he gives master classes too, no? I'm not sure HH is blogging as regularly as she used to now that she's more established -- and married with children.

Edited: September 13, 2020, 8:22 PM · I don't mean in serious musician circles. Hilary Hahn has been every high school fiddler's superhero since she collabed with Twoset. Say what you want about Twoset, but that was a brilliant deal for Hilary. Sure, she doesn't dance on stage, but she has sincere charm and has developed a unique brand for herself that's more than just "I play really well". Prettt apparent if you compare their instagram pages, for example.

Virtuosity is great, but, sadly, it's not really enough to break through.

September 13, 2020, 8:59 PM · Re: standard suit and tuxedo jackets, even as a community orchestra player I have a concert suit with a jacket one size larger than all my other suit jackets. The Nehru jacket isn't a bad remedy.

As for Hilary Hahn, I don't believe her popularity is because of TwoSet. She's very personable, but I heard people voice admiration for her as an artistic heir to Heifetz as early as 2004.

September 14, 2020, 1:48 AM · Over here Nicola Benedetti fills the HH slot to perfection and nobody would accuse her of lacking warmth in e.g. the Elgar concerto. But Hadelich is my number one.
Edited: September 14, 2020, 8:23 AM · Paul, what about Hadelich's socks? His belt? his haircut? his toothpaste?
Edited: September 14, 2020, 7:10 PM · I don't like his haircut either, but it's better than mine at the moment because I have a 9-mm pandemic buzz going. And his hairstyle is not that unusual for violinists. And as far as his socks, belt (or braces), or toothpaste -- I can't see those.
September 16, 2020, 1:05 PM · If you watch some of the other performance videos Hadelich has put out in the last few months, you'll notice he wears different colors and styles of shirts in pretty much every video. I think he's just having some fun with his wardrobe.

I love the videos he's been putting out.

September 16, 2020, 2:37 PM · I think Mr. Hadelich is one of the best living violin players which I enjoy and admire his playing so much.

I was told recently by someone that understands the craft that Mr. Hadelich's career will not likely last long given his (muscles) tense way of playing. Unfortunately.

September 17, 2020, 4:06 AM · Since there was discussion here of several styles, thought I'd share the following which YouTube suggested to me. It kind of blew me away (I know nothing about electric guitar):

September 17, 2020, 8:16 AM · That is excellent! Not so much dynamic contrast as on the piano, but otherwise a great window into the movement.
September 17, 2020, 10:18 PM · I think Beethoven would have loved that. Less dynamic range because of compression stomp box.
September 18, 2020, 2:01 PM · "I think Beethoven would have loved that."

Really? Jeans?

September 18, 2020, 4:25 PM · Uh oh! Scandalous. Put a dress on those legs!
September 19, 2020, 9:21 PM · Paul are you really ragging on Augustin’s clothes? What makes you think that is okay? First, there’s absolutely no problem there, what he is wearing is tasteful and a nice color on him. Second, what’s with being so mean? Too much isolation? Drinking and posting?

Making fun of people’s clothes - I guess it really gets to me. Brings me back to eighth grade.

Edited: September 21, 2020, 3:55 PM · Sorry you were so offended, Laurie. It was just meant to be a light-hearted jab at Mr. Hadelich's purple dreamcoat. It took on a life of its own I guess, but that's not uncommon in forums like these. And I'm not the first one to comment on players' clothing here or elsewhere. Usually women are the subject of those comments, but I don't see why that should always be the case.

"What makes you think that is okay?"

Mr. Hadelich chose to make a video, not an audio recording. Therefore if comments about his playing are fair game (as they are the result of his artistic choices), then surely the visual component of the performance is subject to the same criticism. That has been true since the advent of MTV, when performers like Michael Jackson and Madonna were in their prime (1981). Some of their outfits were instant and lasting cultural icons. In the classical world, what one wears, I suppose, should be secondary to how one plays. But are we that woke? Don't orchestras still wear tuxedos and such? Mr. Hadelich's playing is marvelous; I was careful to say as much in my earliest remarks and thereafter. But if what one wears should be entirely unimportant then why would anyone go out of his way to wear a garment that quite obviously much less comfortable than others one might have chosen, and so clearly "different" from what most other performers wear. A statement of individuality? That works both ways. I think if one goes out of his way to choose a bespoke purple satin Nehru jacket, one should be willing to hear from viewers who don't like purple satin Nehru jackets. I certainly would never stoop so low as to criticize aspects of a performer's appearance that were beyond his or her control. Even eighth-graders have standards.

September 21, 2020, 5:46 PM · I agree with Paul in the sense that he should be allowed to comment on Hadelich's choice of clothing, however it would have been better to state the reasons immediately, like for example: 'That shirt looks uncomfortable to wear, especially because of the ill fitting shoulder padding etc...'. That way you can prevent any haters before they come.

But again, that wouldn't be fun and in the classic Paul style would it...? I think it's fair to say Paul, that it wasn't clear to everyone why exactly you didn't like the shirt, and I assume you were aware of that (correct me if I'm wrong). So if you were aware that at least very few people knew why, but still chose to give a vague reason of why he should 'lose the shirt', then it seems like it's fishing for an argument for the sake of having one. And to everyone else, isn't it obvious that his comment was a bait? I'm actually just disappointed that people can still be triggered by Paul's comments nowadays in 2020. It's just who he is, he obviously can't help himself, and I think we can all take it lightheartedly.

Edited: September 21, 2020, 6:32 PM · James you said I should correct you if you're wrong, so I'm doing that. Thanks for thinking the best of me, and for presuming the noblest of intentions on my part, but the truth is I just don't like the jacket. I don't like the color or the sheen of the fabric, and I think the way it drapes while he's playing makes it look ill-fitting even though he probably had it custom-made by a reputable tailor.

Whether a performer's clothing is up for debate -- actually that's really not what this is about. What I have observed is that there are certain players who have reached an angelic status, such that no criticism toward them whatsoever can be endured.

Edited: September 21, 2020, 9:35 PM · Honestly, all the discussion about clothing comes across to me as shallow and superficial. I'd framed a more elaborate statement of that idea with some parallels, but decided against posting, conceding this thread to Paul's elaborate argument justifying his position and trying not to drag it out further.

I admit I did enjoy the humour though, especially Christian's, though that made me regret it a bit afterwards while I was thinking about superficiality.

September 21, 2020, 9:56 PM · No one should ever feel regret for laughing at one of my jokes.
September 21, 2020, 11:20 PM · I believe that most of us thought of the video as a video of Hadelich playing and not a video of what Hadelich is wearing. I see his finger, his wrist, his arm position, his bow speed, his contact point etc. And I strongly believe that those things are way more important than what he wears for me as a viewer. And I for one don't mind that jacket, and obbviously neither does Hadelich.
September 22, 2020, 5:16 AM · Augustine's jacket may be trying to distract the critics away from a modern violin?
September 22, 2020, 7:47 AM · Not his usual axe? Any info on the maker?
September 22, 2020, 10:20 AM · Sorry Stephen, it probably is his usual violin. I was just having a dig at a few critics.
September 28, 2020, 1:55 PM · Mr. Hadelich: Your remarkable story and musical achievements are incredible and a lesson to all of us. Wear whatever you like.

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