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British Violinist/Musical Activist Daniel Hope Gives U.S. and West Coast Premieres at Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s “Lift Every Voice” Festival (Jan 19-22)

 “One of the most charismatic violinists in the world” — Classic FM

This January, British violinist and musical activist Daniel Hope headlines the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s three-week celebration of courage and compassion through music, as inspired by Kurt Weill, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rabbi Joachim Prinz. After investigating Weill’s musical roots in an evening of performance and conversation with outgoing LACO music director Jeffrey Kahane (Jan 19), Hope joins Kahane and the orchestra for the West Coast premiere of Bruce Adolphe’s Violin Concerto “I Will Not Remain Silent” and the U.S. premiere of Weill’s Song-Suite for Violin and Orchestra, of which his world premiere account was hailed as “a triumph” (Hamburger Abendblatt) (Jan 19–22). The violinist also returns to Georgia’s annual Savannah Music Festival, where he has served as Associate Artistic Director since 2004, for chamber collaborations with artists including David Finckel, Wu Han, Edgar Meyer, and the Dover and Ébène Quartets (March 23–April 5). And, fresh from leading the Swiss ensemble in a tribute to his friend and mentor Yehudi Menuhin, he continues his inaugural season as Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. As the New York Times notes, Hope’s “thriving solo career” reflects both his “inventive programming and a probing interpretive style.”

Concerto premieres at the LACO’s “Lift Every Voice” festival

Hope’s commanding artistry goes hand in hand with a deep commitment to humanitarian causes. His previous projects include the Refuge in Music documentary and Terezín/Theresienstadt recording, both of which showcase works by composers murdered by the Nazis, while Escape to Paradise: The Hollywood Album – hailed as “disturbingly eloquent” (Strad magazine) – draws on his extensive research into those European composers who fled fascist persecution, relocated to Los Angeles, and penned some of the 20th century’s most iconic film scores. It features a special arrangement of “Speak Low,” a Broadway number by Kurt Weill (1900-50), the German composer whose collaborations with Bertolt Brecht are synonymous with the radical politics and cultural innovation of the Weimar Republic, and whose evocation of Berlin cabaret was an essential ingredient in the Hollywood mix. Click here to hear Hope play “Speak Low” with Max Raabe and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Alexander Shelley.

Together with civil rights activists Rabbi Joachim Prinz and Martin Luther King, Jr., Weill is one of those whose concern for the oppressed and persecuted inspired “Lift Every Voice,” the three-week festival that forms the centerpiece of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s present season. As LACO music director Jeffrey Kahane – now concluding his 20-year tenure with the ensemble – explains:

“Each of them in his own way dedicated himself for a good part of his life to those causes, and this series of concerts, this festival celebrates their legacies in a number of different ways.”

Created expressly for the violinist by Paul Bateman, Weill’s Song-Suite for Violin and Orchestra comprises arrangements of six favorite Weill numbers, including “Speak Low,” “September Song,” and “Mack the Knife.” When he gave its world premiere performance at Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Hamburger Abendblatt marveled:

“A triumph. … Daniel Hope made the vast wonderful world of the Weill works sing. He unfolded a dramatic game that brought Pirate Jenny, Mack the Knife, and friends vividly to life.”

With Kahane leading the LACO, Hope gives the work’s U.S. premiere alongside the West Coast premiere of “I Will Not Remain Silent.” A violin concerto by Bruce Adolphe, who serves as composer-in-residence at Los Angeles’s Brain and Creativity Institute and as director of family concerts for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, this takes its inspiration directly from another courageous émigré who, like Weill, spoke out in the face of injustice: Rabbi Joachim Prinz (1902–88). Having saved thousands of lives by resisting the Nazis in Berlin, Prinz went on to speak just before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. Prinz’s own oration included these all too prescient words:

“When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence. … America must not become a nation of onlookers.”

Adolphe, whose wife is related to Prinz, explains:

“Throughout I Will Not Remain Silent, the violin represents the voice of Joachim Prinz: passionate, urgent, resolute, heroic, brave, compassionate. The orchestra in the first movement sonically creates the landscape of Nazi Germany: violent, brutal, horrifying. In the second movement, the orchestra makes reference to the protest songs of the Civil Rights Movement by combining fragments and phrases of that music into a rich texture that moves forward with energy and high spirits but is also disrupted by violence. In the end, the music celebrates courage and hope.”

At the LACO, besides undertaking the solo role in both premieres, Hope presents an evening of performance and conversation with Kahane, now at the piano, in which they share insights about Weill’s music, life and career as a young composer in 1920s Berlin, before he fled Nazi Germany to become one of Broadway’s most enduring songwriters. Their program juxtaposes major chamber works with early songs.

First winter as Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra

Hope, who was also just named Artistic Partner of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra, succeeded Sir Roger Norrington as Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra this past September. His long association with the ensemble dates back to his childhood, when his mother was manager for the legendary Yehudi Menuhin, at whose Gstaad festival the orchestra regularly performed. Fittingly, then, Hope – whose most recent Deutsche Grammophon recording also honors his great friend and mentor – launched the new appointment with a benefit concert for the charity Menuhin founded. Following two more programs in December he looks forward to returning to the Swiss ensemble for performances on March 10 and 12, when he leads Classical concertos, symphonies, and more by Haydn, Mozart, Kraus, and Gluck.

14th spring as Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival

Hope has served as Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival since 2004, and, thanks in no small part to the creative vision he brings to its classical programming, “the festival seems to broaden its musical reach every year” (NPR). Commissioning and staging original works that span a broad range of musical genres, the innovative Georgian festival presents more than 100 events over a three-week period each spring. As a result, it has been credited with “breaking the sound barriers” (Chicago Tribune), and is now recognized as “one of the top music festivals in the world” (USA Today).

The 2017 festival lineup boasts special commissions, premieres, and debuts, with artists from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Haiti, Ireland, Pakistan, Panama, and the Ukraine rubbing shoulders with leading exponents of such homegrown forms as bluegrass, blues, Cajun, country, zydeco, and New Orleans jazz. Hope himself looks forward to appearing in no fewer than seven chamber recitals in the coming season. In “Brahms vs. Tchaikovsky,” an original multimedia production of his own conception, he takes part in accounts of masterworks by both great Romantics, while actors depict tales of their rivalry on either side of the stage (March 24). In a pair of programs titled “Beethoven and Beyond I & II,” he juxtaposes music by the German master with works by those he profoundly influenced, from Schulhoff and Weber (March 23) to Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich (March 27). Similarly, in “Mozart and His Legacy,” Hope pairs the composer’s string quintets with music by his disciples Hummel and Rossini (March 30). He joins the Ébène Quartet and pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips for their only U.S. performance of Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, one of the chamber repertoire’s most overlooked masterpieces (March 26), and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, the award-winning Dover Quartet, and others for Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and more (April 2). Finally, with an all-star lineup of friends that includes both the Dovers and cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, co-artistic directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, he presents an all-Dvorák program highlighted by the incomparable “Dumky” trio (April 4).

To download high-resolution photos, click here.

Daniel Hope: winter and spring engagements

Jan 19
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
“Kurt Weill Before Broadway”
Music and conversation
With Jeffrey Kahane, piano

Jan 21 & 22
Glendale, CA
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Jeffrey Kahane
WEILL, arr. PAUL BATEMAN: Song-Suite for Violin and Orchestra (U.S. Premiere)
BRUCE ADOLPHE: Violin Concerto “I Will Not Remain Silent” (West Coast Premiere)

Feb 3
Dublin, Ireland
RTE National Symphony Orchestra / Alexander Shelley
MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in E minor

Feb 9–12: Spanish tour with Orquestra de Cadaqués / Jaime Martín
BRUCH: Concerto for violin and orchestra No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26
Feb 9: Castelló, Spain
Feb 10: Barcelona, Spain
Feb 12: Zaragoza, Spain

Feb 19
Düsseldorf, Germany
Museum Kunstpalast
Recital with Sebastian Knauer, piano

March 10 & 12
Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich Chamber Orchestra (conducting from the violin)
GLUCK: “Dance of the Furies” from Orfeo ed Euridice
KRAUS: Symphony in A, VB 128
HAYDN: Violin Concerto in G, Hob. VIIa:4
MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G, K. 216
MOZART: Adagio in E for Violin and Orchestra, K. 261
MOZART: Symphony No. 27 in G, K. 199

March 19–22: North American recital tour with Vanessa Perez, piano
   March 19: Scottsdale, AZ
March 20: Ottawa, ON, Canada
March 21: Montreal, QC, Canada
March 22: Quebec City, QC, Canada

March 23–April 4: Savannah Music Festival
Savannah, GA
March 23: “Beethoven and Beyond I”
BEETHOVEN: String Trio in D, Op. 9, No. 2
SCHULHOFF: Duo for Violin and Cello
BEETHOVEN: 12 Variations for Cello and Piano in F on “Ein Mädchen oder
Weibchen” from Mozart’s Magic Flute, Op. 66
WEBER: Piano Quartet in B-flat, J. 76

March 24: “Brahms vs. Tchaikovsky”
BRAHMS: String Quintet No. 2 in G, Op. 111
TCHAIKOVSKY: String Sextet in D minor, Op. 70, “Souvenir de Florence”

March 26: “Ébène Quartet with Daniel Hope & Simon Crawford-Phillips”
CHAUSSON: Concerto in D for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, Op. 21

March 27: “Beethoven and Beyond II”
BEETHOVEN: Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 16
SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
BEETHOVEN: Variations for Piano Trio on “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu” from Die Schwestern von Prag
by Wenzel Müller, Op. 121a
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: String Sextet in A

March 30: “Mozart and his Legacy”
MOZART: Quintet in E-flat, K. 452 (arr. Naumann)
HUMMEL: Piano Quintet in E-flat minor, Op. 87
ROSSINI: String Sonata No. 1 in G
MOZART: String Quintet No. 4 in G minor, K. 516

April 2: “Edgar Meyer and Friends”
MEYER: Quintet for Strings & Double Bass
MOZART: Divertimento in D for String Quintet, K. 136
ARENSKY: Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky, Op. 35a
TCHAIKOVSKY: Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48

April 4: “Daniel Hope & Friends featuring David Finckel, Wu Han & the Dover Quartet”
DVOŘÁK: Romantic Pieces, Op. 75, Version for 2 Violins and Viola
DVOŘÁK: Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, Op. 90, B. 166, “Dumky”
DVOŘÁK: Selections from Slavonic Dances for Piano Four Hands
DVOŘÁK: Piano Quintet in A, Op. 81

April 7
Berlin, Germany
Komische Oper
KORNGOLD: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D, Op. 35

April 9
Düsseldorf, Germany
Museum Kunstpalast
Recital with Sebastian Knauer, piano


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© 21C Media Group, December 2016

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