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Final weekend to help Salt Lake violinist Will Hagen realize a dream

Published April 27, 2012 4:46 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Who says nothing useful can be done on the Internet?

You can send Salt Lake City violinist Will Hagen to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra the weekend of Nov. 30. by just spending a minute on your computer after logging on.

Hagen is one of eight semi-finalists — and the youngest one, at that — in an online-voting competition being conducted by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The winner will have the opportunity perform a concerto with the orchestra under the direction of conductor Manfred Honeck at Heinz Hall on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.

"It would be very special," said Hagen, who will be performing the third movement of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra this weekend. "[The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra] are well-respected around the world. It would be pretty huge for me."

Supporters of Hagen can vote for him by going online at http://www.pittsburghsymphony.org/competition. Scroll ahead at the right side of the web page until you come upon Hagen performing an excerpt from the first movement of Brahm's Violin Concerto.

The violinist's mother Loree Hagen said that Hagen "wasn't cavalier" about his online video, which captured him performing Brahm's only violin concerto in an empty dance studio right before the deadline. "The judges must not have put much emphasis on presentation, or that garbage can would have knocked him right out of the running," she joked.

Hagen, 19, began violin lessons at four and in the fall of 2010 he began studies with Itzhak Perlman at The Juilliard School, where he is the recipient of the Dorothy DeLay Scholarship in Violin. Hagen plays on a violin crafted by Andrea Guarneri of Cremona, Italy, in 1675.

Voting ends at 9:59 p.m. (in the Mountain Time Zone) on Monday, April 30 in the current round of the competition, and up to four finalists will move on to the final round. After the finalists are chosen, they will have a live audition in early June, with the winner selected shortly thereafter.

Again, the link for the voting site is: http://www.pittsburghsymphony.org/competition and you can vote once per day.