His playing is revolutionary, his talent extraordinary, Hahn Bin plays the violin as though his life depended on it.
Perhaps it does… Hahn-Bin proclaims, ‘Hahn-Bin is dead, behold the birth of Amadeus Leopold!‘ I’m a little confused, but I go along with the story, he may tell me that he’s dead, but every note he plays has a life of its own.
Hahn-Bin or Amadeus Leopold is unlike any violist you’ve heard or for that matter seen. He trained under the guidance of Itzhak Perlman for a decade and not a moment has been wasted acquiring his master’s trade. If you’re not heard of Perlman I urge you seek out his 1994 recording of ‘Theme From Schindler’s List’ Hahn-Bin even takes on this piece and plays with a tenderness – I thought my heart would break.
Amidst the camp flourishes, clashing colours and high heels Hahn-Bin hides a secret, he tells the audience that as a child he watched Tim Burton’s provocative, societal observation: Edward Scissorhands and he is, he tells us, just like Edward, ‘Edward Violin-hands,’ and he does let the violin speak for him, just as Edward’s cutting skills spoke for him. When he said ‘I cannot love myself’ his eyes conveyed a sadness which implores you to love him. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, we are looking directly into the core of a masterpiece, Hahn-Bin’s own creation.
The awestruck and hushed crowd laps up every note of his repertoire, which includes tremendous interpretations of ‘Over The Rainbow’ (he tells an unsurprised audience that Judy Garland is his ultimate icon), Carmen’s ‘Habanera’, Khachaturain’s ‘Sabre Dance’, Saint Saën’s ‘Danse Macabre’ and the impossibly happy performance of, ‘I Feel Pretty’ set against Hahn-Bin’s melancholy. It serves him well, and although his slinky, pop-star-esque strut may feel out of place in what is essentially a one man classical concert, none of his gimmicks distract from his performance. Hahn-Bin is a modern musical genius.
Hahn-Bin: The Renaissance Of Classical Music is playing at the Soho Theatre until the 22nd July 2012 – full listing: www.thegayuk.com/hahnbintherenaissance
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