May 10, 2022
Daniel Hope (photo: Daniel Waldhecker)
(May 2022)—Violinist Daniel Hope, lauded by San Francisco Classical Voice as a “master violinist and ‘musical activist’ in perpetual motion,” has had an enormously productive spring even by his standards, with the release of his hour-long documentary Celtic Dreams: Daniel Hope’s Hidden Irish History on almost 200 PBS TV stations across the U.S.; a “Tiny Desk” concert on NPR, combining Irish music with Beethoven; and the Deutsche Grammophon EP Music for Ukraine, recorded to raise funds for Ukraine relief efforts. Hope launches his summer as Music Director of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra with a Bay Area tour of an all-Mozart program (May 12–14), and looks forward to leading the Zurich Chamber Orchestra (ZCO), of which he is also Music Director, in its inaugural ZCO Festival, which explores fantasies both musical and literary (June 24–28). In between those engagements the violinist returns to the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, of which he is President, to curate and perform in a series of concerts and talks titled “Audience with Beethoven” to celebrate BTHVN Week 2022 (June 2–4).
Bay Area tour with New Century Chamber Orchestra (May 12–14)
Hope was appointed in 2018 as Music Director of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO), one of the world’s few conductorless ensembles. In May, he returns to the States to lead the orchestra from the violin on their third and final Bay Area tour of the season, which takes in Berkeley, Palo Alto and San Francisco (May 12–14). Their all-Mozart program, bookended by the composer’s youthful Symphony K. 45b and his darkly hued late Symphony No. 40, features as its centerpiece his Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra, with Hope and violist Paul Neubauer as soloists. “A master musician” with a “rich, sumptuous tone” (New York Times), Neubauer is one of Hope’s frequent collaborators and can be heard on the violinist’s live recording of Brahms, Schumann and Mahler piano quartets.
Following these performances, Hope and the NCCO perform once again on May 15 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Belvedere for the first New Century Wine Club event, “Italian Reinventions.” The musical program includes concerto excerpts from the Vivaldi collections L’estro armonico and La stravaganza, as well as the Geminiani/Corelli Concerto Grosso No. 5 in G minor. Two distinguished wine industry figures will be the featured guests: sommelier and historian Ron Merlino and California winemaker Martha Stoumen.
Zurich Chamber Orchestra (June 24–28)
As Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra (ZCO), Hope joins the ensemble for four concerts at its inaugural ZCO Festival, which celebrates the fantastic in music and literature. He leads the ZCO from the violin in two orchestral events, beginning with a program of Baroque fantasias, which in music denotes a free form and improvisatory style. The fantasias of Henry Purcell, two of which are on Hope’s program, are among the earliest examples, and are often compared to analogous compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, whose A-minor Violin Concerto, with Hope as soloist, anchors the program. Fantasias by Bach’s contemporary Telemann and symphonies by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel round out the program.
The second orchestral event is a fantasy-inspired evening of music by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Turkish composer-pianist Fazil Say, who undertakes the solo role in Schumann’s sole Piano Concerto. In the spirit of the fantasia, Say and Hope finish the program with their own improvisations.
Hope also joins members of the orchestra for two chamber programs. “The Pen and the Bow” explores music and words by James Joyce, Shostakovich and Austria’s Adalbert Stifter, with narration by actor Thomas Douglas, who is also credited with the concept for the program. “Cloud Flight” combines chamber works by Schubert, Kodály and Grażyna Bacewicz with Mendelssohn’s beloved Octet.
Beethoven-Haus Bonn (June 2–4)
Since 2020, which marked the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Hope has served as President of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, the museum and Beethoven research center housed in the composer’s birthplace. Last spring on St. Patrick’s Day, the violinist performed “Danny Boy” and the slow movement from Beethoven’s Sixth Violin Sonata in NPR’s popular “Tiny Desk” series from the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, behind the composer’s own tiny travel desk. Now Hope returns to the institution for five events collectively titled “Audience with Beethoven” to celebrate BTHVN WEEK 2022. For the first and last programs, Hope welcomes the celebrated young French string quartet Quatuor Arod along with pianist Lise de la Salle. In Program I they pair Beethoven’s “Quartetto serioso” in F minor, Op. 95, with Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet in D. Program V combines Beethoven’s Violin Sonata in A with two works related to it: Janáček‘s String Quartet No. 1 and the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Fantasy Suite 1803 for violin and piano. Earlier that day, Heggie will also participate in Program IV, a conversation with Hope and Bernhard Helmich, General Manager of the Theater Bonn.
San Francisco Classical Voice says: “When writing about Daniel Hope, it may be easier to list what he is not doing than to enumerate his activities,” and that versatility is well-attested by the remaining two events. Program II comprises the German premiere of a monodrama the multifaceted violinist wrote in 2004 for the Savannah Music Festival, when he was a recently-named Associate Artistic Director. The speaker in the piece – portrayed by German actress Iris Berben – is Nanette Streicher, who was a piano maker, composer and friend of Beethoven. Hope will be joined for the performance by pianist Sebastian Knauer and cellist Josephine Knight. Finally, the family-friendly Program III centers on a story told by Hope about Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, accompanied by excerpts from the work arranged for flute, violin, cello and piano. Musical guests include Knight, pianist Dmitry Ishkhanov, and flutist Aliya Vodovozova.
Music for Ukraine on DG
“A prominent ‘musical activist,’ supporting human rights in words and deeds” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Hope has long used his artistry to serve humanitarian causes, and has been recognized with both the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the 2015 European Cultural Prize for Music. In the face of the ongoing Russian invasion, the violinist has turned his attention to relief efforts for Ukraine. Hope explains:
“Alexey [Botvinov] and I were planning to be in Kyiv in March 2022 to work with the composer Valentin Silvestrov, preparing to record an album of his music. Just a few days before the Russian attack, Alexey left Ukraine with part of his family: now they are unable to return. Together we quickly organised televised benefit concerts in Germany for Ukraine, at the Frauenkirche in Dresden and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin. … The Beethoven-Haus Bonn, of which I am President, launched ‘Hope for Peace,’ an emergency aid programme to support refugee musicians from Ukraine with benefit concerts, as well as providing living space, recording and concert opportunities. Meanwhile, Valentin Silvestrov, aged 84, was somehow able to escape the bombing of Kyiv and walk across the border to safety. After he attended our concert in Berlin on March 11, we were all the more determined to record his music as soon as possible.”
Hope and Botvinov recorded Silvestrov’s music along with that of Ukrainian composers Myroslav Skoryk and Jan Freidlin on Music for Ukraine, now available as an EP on Deutsche Grammophon. Everyone involved in the production donated their time, and all future royalties will be donated to Aktion Deutschland Hilft, a global relief emergency fund which is doing important work to support Ukraine. More information about the album can be found here.
To download high-resolution photos, click here.
Daniel Hope: summer engagements
May 12–14: Bay Area tour with New Century Chamber Orchestra
May 12: Berkeley, CA
May 13: Palo Alto, CA
May 14: San Francisco, CA
MOZART: Symphony in B-flat, K. 45b, “No. 55”
MOZART: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K. 364 (with Paul Neubauer, viola)
MOZART: Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
New Century Wine Club: “Italian Reinventions”
VIVALDI: Concerto No. 11 for two violins in D minor, from L’estro armonico, Op. 3
VIVALDI: III. Allegro, Concerto No. 4 in A minor, from La stravaganza, Op. 4
GEMINIANI/CORELLI: Concerto Grosso No. 5 in G minor
BTHVN Week 2022 “Audience with Beethoven”
June 2 at 8pm
With Daniel Hope, violin; Quatuor Arod; Lise de la Salle, piano
BEETHOVEN: Quartet in F minor, Op. 95, “Quartetto serioso”
CHAUSSON: Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet in D, Op. 21
June 3 at 8pm
Monodrama with Nanette Streicher by Daniel Hope
With Iris Berben, speaker; Daniel Hope, violin; Sebastian Knauer, piano; Josephine Knight, cello
June 4 at 11am
Beethoven as Tonie – Live
With Daniel Hope, author and violin; Josephine Knight, cello; Dmitry Ishkhanov, piano; Aliya Vodovozova, flute
June 4 at 5pm
Jake Heggie – In conversation
With Jake Heggie, composer; Bernhard Helmich, General Manager of the Theater Bonn; Daniel Hope, President of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn
June 4 at 8pm
With Daniel Hope, violin; Quatuor Arod; Lise de la Salle, piano
BEETHOVEN: Sonata for Piano and Violin in A, Op. 47
Jake HEGGIE: Fantasy Suite 1803, for violin and piano (world premiere)
JANÁČEK: Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”
Hauptkirche St. Michaelis
“Air – a baroque journey”
Works by FALCONIERI, HANDEL, ORTIZ, VIVALDI, VON WESTHOFF and others
With Simos Papanas, violin; Nicola Mosca, cello; Emanuele Forni, lute; Naoki Kitaya, harpsichord; Michael Metzler, percussion
Chamber Music with ZCO
C.P.E. BACH: Symphony in B-flat, H. 658, Wq 182/2
TELEMANN: Fantasia No. 8 in A for harpsichord solo, TWV 33:20
PURCELL: Fantasia a 4 in A minor, Z. 740
J.S. BACH Violin concerto in A minor, BWV 1041
PURCELL: Fantasia a 4 in C minor, Z. 738
TELEMANN: Fantasia No. 2 in C for harpsichord solo, TWV 33:14
C.P.E. BACH: Symphony in B minor, H. 611, Wq 182/5
Grażyna BACEWICZ: Quartet for four violins
SCHUBERT: String Trio in B-flat, D. 471
KODÁLY: Intermezzo for violin, viola and cello
MENDELSSOHN: Octet, Op. 20
With Fazil Say
Fazil SAY: Cleopatra for violin solo, Op. 34
Fazil SAY: III. Rite of Hope, from Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 82, “Mount Ida”
SCHUMANN: II. Langsam, from Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. posth (coda by Benjamin Britten)
MENDELSSOHN: Das Märchen von der schönen Melusine, Op. 32 (MWV P 12)
MENDELSSOHN: String Symphony No. 13 in C minor, MWV N 14
SCHUMANN: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (Fazil Say, piano)
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© 21C Media Group, May 2022