Haley Maurer Gillia


Photos by Matt Dine


Brevard Music Festival, 2014–15; Bowdoin International Music Festival, 2016; New Music on the Point, 2017; Chautauqua Institution MSFO, 2018; Spoleto Festival USA, 2023

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

As a little kid (maybe around 5 or 6), my dad got me and himself a subscription to the violin virtuoso series at Carnegie Hall. I remember seeing the soloists so up-close and commenting on the sweat I could see on their faces as they played. A particular favorite memory was seeing Maxim Vengerov play Ferdinand the Bull as an encore. I also remember having my Playbill signed by Hilary Hahn after one of her concerts there and telling her I played violin—and I still have the Playbill!

What made you decide to become a musician? Was there a particular performance or person that influenced your decision?

Growing up, I played a lot of new music as a member of Face The Music (a youth new music ensemble in NYC), and I found that the music we were playing, the venues, and the rehearsal process—working with composers and rehearsing with friends—was really exciting. I love the collaborative nature of music, the continued honing of your craft, and the creativity behind music and art-making of all kinds. Additionally, my time as a student at the Special Music School and Lucy Moses School in NYC was pivotal for me in terms of providing the resources and opportunities to pursue music.

Do you have a favorite non-classical musician or band?

I love listening to music of all kinds. I think my overall favorite is Chris Thile; what he plays with his bands and as a solo artist is always great and he brings a joyfulness to his music-making that I really enjoy.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

In addition to music, I also do the other things I am passionate about: poetry and writing, Alexander Technique (I am in a Teacher Training Certification Program at Balance Arts Center), music composition, and theater / acting. I think it’s important to do anything you enjoy!

What advice would you give your younger self or anyone starting out?

Have more fun! Enjoy and trust your own individual process, dreams, and path.