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Daniel Hope premieres new Maxwell Davies Violin Concerto

Daniel Hope, a long-time champion of new music, is the soloist for the world
premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s second violin concerto, Fiddler on
the Shore
, on
August 22 with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.  The work, commissioned by the orchestra and written specially
for Hope, will be conducted by the composer.  This performance will be part of the orchestra’s Mendelssohn
bicentennial celebrations in Leipzig. 
After the world premiere, Daniel Hope and Peter Maxwell Davies will
bring the piece back home to Great Britain, where they will present the UK
premiere at the BBC Proms on September 8 – Sir Peter’s 75th
birthday, this time with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  Both Hope and Maxwell Davies are
favorite British musicians. Peter Maxwell Davies, one of the UK’s most
celebrated composers, was knighted in 1987, and he was appointed Master of the
Queen’s Music in March 2004.

on the Shore
Maxwell Davies’s second violin concerto, uses elements of the folk music of the
Orkney Islands in Scotland, a place well known for traditional fiddling, and it
transforms this music into a large-scale orchestral work.  In the composer’s program notes, he says:

“The new work
is at the same time a celebration of Orkney traditional fiddle music, and of
the sheer wonder and beauty of the sea, whose sound permeates every moment of
your life, and also a meditation on the fragility of this music under modern
pressures, and the vulnerability of a sandy island in the way of ever-rising
seas, as icecaps melt.”

As the
soloist in this new work, Daniel Hope continues his celebrated career in which
he brings a wide array of both new and newly discovered works to the public’s
attention.  In 2008, his first solo
recording for Deutsche Grammophon featured the world premiere recording of the original
of Felix
Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and a revised version of the composer’s
irresistible Octet for Strings, a CD that Alex Ross of the New Yorker called “a bold, stylish recording
of the Violin Concerto, alongside one of the finest modern accounts of the
Octet.”  Meanwhile, that same year,
Hope presented Celeste, a new work for violin and percussion by Stewart Copeland, the drummer
of the rock band The Police, at the Savannah Music Festival.

premiere of Fiddler on the Shore marks a special opportunity for Daniel Hope to work with one
of today’s most celebrated composers – an honor that he is proud will start off
his new season.  Speaking of the
work and the composer in general, Hope said:

“I have been particularly fascinated by the ingenious way in
which Sir Peter has been able to blend the folk with the symphonic. It is a
technically challenging work, and yet it relies on a strong element of
lyricism, which I find particularly inspiring. I have long admired Sir Peter’s
music, and so to be the dedicatee of such an important work, and to give the
world premiere with the Gewandhaus Orchestra during its Mendelssohn bicentennial
celebrations is a huge honour, as indeed it is to perform it at the Proms, on
the composer’s 75th birthday.” 

Hope – Peter Maxwell Davies Violin Concerto premiere:

22: Leipzig, Germany

Sir Peter
Maxwell Davies: Violin Concerto No. 2 Fiddler on the Shore (world premiere)

Gewandhaus Orchestra

Sir Peter
Maxwell Davies, conductor

8: BBC Proms, London, UK

Sir Peter
Maxwell Davies: Violin Concerto No. 2 Fiddler on the Shore (UK premiere)

Philharmonic Orchestra

Sir Peter
Maxwell Davies, conductor

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© 21C Media Group, August 2009

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