Where They’re Headed: B.J. Hillinck ’15

B.J. Hillinck ’15 will be working for the pianomakers Steinway & Sons starting this fall.

This fall B.J. Hillinck ’15 starts work as a production assistant for the media and technology department of Steinway & Sons, the famous piano makers. His duties will include editing and generating web content, as well as contributing to an upcoming book that will accompany the creation of the company’s 100,000th piano. He will also be working with them to market the first completely digital player piano.

“Someone goes on and plays something, the piano will play it back perfectly,” says Hillinck, who majored in history. “It’s called the Spirio and in the music world it’s making quite a buzz because [it can] replicate a performance perfectly, which is quite a feat.”

Hillinck has been a part of  almost every aspect of the music world at Haverford, singing a cappella with the Humtones, adding his voice to the Chamber Singers, and playing in the Bi-Co Orchestra. His thesis, “‘Den grossen Meister nach allen Seiten’: Saxon Reception of Beethoven and the German Cultural Nation at the Dawn of Unification,” explored the intersection of  his three academic interests of music, history, and the German language.

Hillinck would not have followed a path that led to Steinway &  Sons if not for Haverford. “I was talking with Professor Richard Freedman, who’s been a real mentor for me,” he says, reflecting on his junior year. “He said there’s an alum who runs a magazine in New York called Listen, and it’s owned by Steinway.” The alum, Ben Finane ’99, was looking for an intern. Freedman made the introduction and Hillinck was working at Listen the following summer. “I did the internship, and he got promoted into Steinway and he wanted me there with him.”

“I’m doing work in the field that I want to go into—arts and music—that right now I’m fully confident in my ability to contribute meaningfully,” says Hillinck, who is also an accomplished flutist who plans to begin performing professionally as well while working at Steinway.

—Jack Hasler ’15


Photo by Hina Fathima ’15

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.