Augustin Hadelich is a German violinist born (in Cecina, Italy) on April 4, 1984. He is best known for a very fast rise to stardom after winning the Indianapolis Violin Competition in 2006. It was virtually a clean sweep of the competition since he also won special awards for the best performance in the following categories: Romantic concerto, Classical concerto, Beethoven sonata, Bach work, commissioned work, encore piece, Paganini caprice, and sonata other than Beethoven. His reviews have been full of superlatives since the beginning of his career and, understandably, he has already appeared with most of the world’s top orchestras. He soloed with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in New York on October 18, 2012, playing the Symphonie Espagnol by Edouard Lalo. He had three times previously played with this orchestra, though not in New York. He is not yet 29 years old. Hadelich began his violin studies at age 5 with his father, a farmer who is also a cellist. At the time, the family was living in Riparbella, Italy (in Tuscany – Riparbella is about 30 miles south of Florence.) From about age 7, he studied (sporadically) with, among other teachers, Uto Ughi in Siena for a few years. He eventually ended up in the Istituto Mascagni in Livorno (Italy) from which he graduated. He was playing recitals in Europe during this time, too. Later on, in Berlin, he studied at the Academy of Music. From there he came to the U.S and enrolled at Juilliard, studying with Joel Smirnoff. Hadelich graduated from Juilliard in 2007, a year after he won the Indianapolis competition. His discography is small but, by all accounts, brilliant. He has recorded all of Haydn’s violin concertos and Telemann’s fantasias for violin - rarely-heard works. He also sometimes writes his own cadenzas, something that few contemporary violinists do. Hadelich currently plays the Kiesewetter Stradivarius (1723) but previously played the 1683 Gingold Stradivarius. One of his many YouTube videos is here. And here is another – yes, he is that good!