Hahn-Bin said on "The Early Show" Wednesday losing the violin couldn't have come at a worse time.
"I was very, very tired. That's all I can say. I had come back from the Hamptons rehearsing and performing. ... I was exhausted."
Hahn-Bin, who practices eight hours a day, said he was devastated when he learned of the loss.
"I called the police immediately. They didn't believe me. They didn't know I'm having my debut on October 8. When I told them I left my $500,000 violin in the cab, they said, 'You mean, $5,000. ' "
However, after a night of panic, the Perlman protégé was reunited with his violin with the help of GPS technology, the New York Police Department and the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, just 12 hours after he left it in the cab.
Hahn-Bin said he was amazed at how quickly the violin was recovered. He's promised a concert for the taxi driver who found it.