Hilary Hahn interviews a fish

James InverneWed 5th October 2011

The leading violinist (presumably) turns satirist

I've been commentating on classical music for quite a while now, but this is the first time I can remember a star musician conversing seriously with a mute creature. Or any non-human. But Hilary Hahn, one of the most scintillating violinists before the public today (voted Gramophone's Artist of the Year a couple of years ago), has posted a video to YouTube in which she conducts an interview with a fish.

The fish, not surprisingly, says nothing. But Hahn asks her questions and then waits for the answers she only imagines, and reacts to them, sometimes adding an ingratiating laugh, or a thoughtful "Huh."

It's all very entertaining, but what's behind it? Insanity would be an easy answer, except that Hilary Hahn is a very smart cookie. So I'll lean towards satire. This is clearly a musician who has been interviewed one too many times by the kind of journalist who doesn't do any research and simply turns up with a list of standard questions (none of whom, I hasten to add, work for Gramophone!).

Do watch the video, and for Hahn herself I recommend tracking down a particularly funny mock-interview on a similar theme by spoof host Alan Partridge (aka Steve Coogan) interviewing a deeply unimpressed French racing car driver. After asking the driver whether he gets tired of interviewers asking the same old boring questions, he follows up with the killer, "When did you first want to be a racing driver?"

 

James Inverne

James Inverne is former editor of Gramophone. He now runs a music management + PR company, Inverne Price Music Consultancy, writes a culture column for the Jewish Chronicle newspaper and his byline can still be found from time to time in other places about subjects that get him exercised.

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