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Ellen Hildner


Violinist Ellen Hildner has been in the orchestra for 44 years.  

Her thoughts on some of her peak experiences: “If I could travel back in time, I'd love to play another performance of Peter Grimes, with Jon Vickers in the title role, and spend an evening with Catherine Malfitano, Daniele Gatti conducting, in that unforgettable Butterfly. 

I'm grateful to have heard Pavarotti and Domingo in their prime, and sad that I'll never again play the Tristan prelude. (I'm not so sad that I won't be wading through the remaining fairly taxing hours, beautiful though they are)."

Ellen says there have been no particularly embarrassing memories for herself (although she jokingly adds that there may be someone out there reading this and thinking, "Does she really not remember when....")  but she does have a favorite memory of a concert performance on stage, with a prominent conductor who shall remain nameless. “He gave a dramatic downbeat, unfortunately a little too soon, and then immediately made some sweeping, ‘No! No!’ gestures with both hands.  The orchestra had already come to his rescue, as is so often the case, without a single peep in the wrong place.” She says about past disasters at the opera, “Well, there was the fire breather on stilts!  What could go wrong?”

Ellen’s retirement plans include “the usual suspects: travel, gardening, more time for family and friends.  I’ve done some tutoring in recent years and will be looking into other volunteer opportunities as well.  David (David Hildner, Ellen’s husband and also a Lyric Opera violinist), and I have a trip to Russia coming up this summer, and I'm thinking about taking harp lessons (apologies to Lynn [Williams, principal harpist at Lyric] and Liz [Cifani, former principal harpist at Lyric]!)”

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Ellen Hildner: About Us
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