It was the second time in three months that I had seen 23-year-old violinist Hilary Hahn playing in London and both times I couldn't help but notice the large contingent of Asian fans in the audience. Sitting next to me was a group of Korean ladies and behind me, chattering excitedly in Cantonese before their idol appeared, was a young couple from Hong Kong. When I saw Hahn playing to a sell out concert at Hong Kong's City Hall a few years ago, she had already built up a large following of new generation music lovers. It's not difficult to see why she has acquired such a young fan base - recently voted America's best young classical musician by Time magazine, Hahn is tall, young and beautiful and plays the violin as though she was born with one wedged underneath her chin. On the night I saw Hahn in London she was playing the lyrical violin solo part in Vaughan William's The Lark Ascending, with Sir Colin Davies conducting the London Symphony Orchestra (due to perform next month in the Hong Kong Arts Festival). Vaughan described this piece as a 'romance for violin and small orchestras'. Written in 1914, it belongs to the creative period in which Williams' composed the Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis. It is a mystical, ecstatic piece that conjures an evanescent image of an idyllic rural England - a world soon to be plunged into the barbarity of the first world war. Inspiration for the work came from George Meredith's poem The Lark Ascending. In an original move the poem was read aloud in its entirety during the performance by actress Suzanne Bertish. Meredith's poem is long and dated and what should have been feather light and evocative became an overlarge helping of stodgy pudding. Dressed in a long, red velvet dress, her head tilted, and youth accentuated by standing next to Sir Colin with his stately mane of white hair, Hahn looked every inch a gifted angel. Soft string chords from the orchestra begin the piece and then Hahn's violin gently began a soulful ascent. The final section of the work has the orchestra fade away as the solo violin rises like a bird, vanishing in the shimmering haze of a summer's day. But as enthusiastic as the audience was, I couldn't help but feel there was more skill and not enough soul in Hahn's playing. Sir Colin and the LSO are conducting and playing at the summit of their powers and the orchestral section was faultless in its rendering of William's softly ecstatic, very English rhapsodising, a tenor which Hahn, though close, missed. When her lark rose up to fly away it was rising from a different field from the one the orchestra was sitting in.