Three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn has donated a $25,000 gift to Project 440, a Philadelphia based non-profit. Hahn, who recently announced a yearlong sabbatical, received the award from Glashütte Original Festspielpreis for her achievements in encouraging young musicians and promoting classical music education. The award came with the requirement that the $25,000 grant is to be donated to a music-education project that the winner is to choose. Hahn has chosen Project 440 as the recipient of the grant because of their “view of music as a stepping stone to teaching high schoolers to actively impact their world on their own terms and practice essential skills for their lives beyond the school system.”

Project 440 is stands out from other music programs as they don’t focus on developing musicianship or teaching music. Instead, they uses a shared love of music from any genre and the skills inherent in being a musician as a method to help young people build their identities as individuals and as a community. Their three core programs are: Instruments for Success, Doing Good and the College Fair for Musicians

Hahn has a connection with the city of Philadelphia as she made her orchestral soloist debut with the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in 1991. On the charity, Hahn says “Project 440 serves a crucial purpose within the arts world. They reach across a broad socio-economic spectrum to high school students, helping them to take leadership roles in their communities and rehearsing life skills within the shared language of music. Many organizations are doing great work around personal leadership, but the way Project 440 goes about it is different from anything I’ve seen. I believe that music can be a starting point for so many kinds of conversations.”

Project 440

Jan Vogler, Director of the Dresden Music Festival, who presented the award to Hahn writes “Hilary Hahn is a role model for many young musicians. Her creativity and determination in pursuing her career as well as her talent in communicating her musical life to her audiences inspire the classical music world. The Dresden Music Festival was proud to award her the ‘Glashütte Original Festspielpreis’ 2014.”