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Daniel Hope’s New CD and U.S. Performances

Always reaching into new areas and exploring different genres and dimensions of music, intrepid British violinist Daniel Hope – called “frighteningly gifted” by the Washington Post – spends his 2009-10 season performing a vast array of music, from the Baroque era to a new concerto by one of Britain’s most celebrated composers.  In early 2010, Deutsche Grammophon releases Hope’s new CD, Air: a baroque journey, in the States.  The album showcases violin music from such luminaries as Bach and Handel besides exploring the music of some lesser-known but uniquely talented composers from the same period.  U.S. audiences will have an opportunity to hear Daniel Hope in March when he makes his annual appearances at the Savannah Music Festival, where he has been Associate Artistic Director for several seasons.  Also this spring, Hope performs the Mendelssohn concerto and the U.S. premiere of a new version of Schulhoff’s Double Concerto with Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  In addition to his work in the U.S., this season Hope performs concertos with orchestras in Australia, South Africa, the Far East, and many major European cities, as well as giving solo recitals in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

Hope’s new album – Air: a baroque journey

David Patrick Stearns of the Philadelphia Inquirer once wrote, “Any Daniel Hope disc commands immediate attention: he’s an artist who rethinks pieces with the research sense of a musicologist and the charisma of an international soloist.”  Hope’s new album, Air: a baroque journey, was recently released in Europe and will see U.S. release in early 2010 (date TBA).  Always searching for a unique approach to music, Hope uses the recording to highlight one of the most dramatic times in the history of the violin, the Baroque era.  He explains that it was in this period that “violinists and composers, in a sense liberated from the austerity and contrapuntal strictures of the Renaissance, went on a journey, both musically and geographically, avidly seeking more extravagant and original ways in which to express themselves on this fascinating new instrument.”

On this CD, Hope includes works by some of the more celebrated composers of the era, such as Bach and Handel, while also focusing on the music and journey of four lesser-known musicians of that period – Falconieri, Matteis, Geminiani, and Westhoff.  In the CD liner notes, Hope explains why he chose this path:

Air sets out to trace one such Baroque journey.  It is the story of four unique composers, three of whom were virtuoso violinists, one a lutenist – Falconieri, Matteis, and Geminiani from Italy, and Westhoff from Germany.  They wandered throughout Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries in search of musical inspiration and cross-pollination, and their music and art of performance intrigued and delighted kings, contemporaries, and audiences alike… . This album sets out to show just how diverse the music of the Baroque era was.  Air blends the simplest and at times most primitive forms of dance music with the most sophisticated and revolutionary compositions of the day… .”

Visit Hope’s website for additional information about the album:


U.S. engagements

Hope returns to the U.S. in March for his annual appearance at the Savannah Music Festival, where he spends his seventh season as Associate Artistic Director.  This festival’s unique approach to programming, mixing different genres of music with an array of other artistic disciplines, is an apt representation of Hope’s own love of creating new collaborations and thrilling mixtures of musical talents.  Such projects as “War and Pieces”, “ Mozart Unplugged!”, and “Forbidden Music” have been presented at important venues and have featured collaborations involving renowned actors – such as Klaus Maria Brandauer and Mia Farrow – reading poetry and literature selected and sometimes written by Hope.

While reporting from the festival last year, Gramophone wrote glowingly about the city of Savannah and the festival:

“Savannah is frequently called the most beautiful city in America – and it is.  An historic Southern town draped in mesmerizing Spanish moss, you feel as if you’re drifting inside an Impressionist painting when you wander into one of its many charming squares.  This corner of Georgia is never so compelling as during the Savannah Music Festival.  In just one day, you can experience classical, jazz, and world music – and gain insights into how these utterly different traditions and styles are connected… .”

Also in March, Hope will travel to California for several appearances.  He joins the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and conductor/pianist Jeffrey Kahane for two performances, first at the Alex Theatre on March 20 and then at Royce Hall on March 21.  Hope will perform both Mendelssohn’s violin concerto (of which his Deutsche Grammophon recording was selected as one of the year’s best recordings by the New York Times) and Erwin Schulhoff’s Double Concerto, which Hope has arranged for piano and violin from the original for flute and piano.  This concert, which also includes Kurt Weill’s Symphony No. 2, pays tribute to two great composers (Schulhoff and Weill) silenced under the Nazi regime, and will benefit James Conlon’s Orel Foundation, an organization dedicated to recovering music suppressed by the Nazis during the Third Reich.  Hope and Kahane will also perform a recital for the Foundation on April 7.

Premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies violin concerto and Theresienstadt Tour

Daniel Hope’s new season started off with a bang on August 22, when he gave the world-premiere performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’s new violin concerto, Fiddler on the Shore, with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.  The work uses elements of the folk music of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, a place well known for traditional fiddling, while transforming this music into a large-scale orchestral work.  The piece was commissioned by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, written especially for Hope, and conducted by the composer.  After the world premiere, Hope and Peter Maxwell Davies brought it back home to Great Britain, where they presented the U.K. premiere at the BBC Proms on September 8 (Maxwell Davies’s 75th birthday), this time with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  When reviewing the Proms performance, the U.K.’s Independent proclaimed, “Hope’s playing was both expressive and immaculate as he moved between Bartókian peasant-mode and Orkney heel-and-toe, before ending on a plaintively interrogative note.”

Hope has just completed a 15-city European tour with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and pianist Bengt Forsberg in a significant collaboration that began as a recording for Deutsche Grammophon, Terezín/Theresienstadt.  The program features music composed during World War II by prisoners at the Theresienstadt concentration camp and has won acclaim and new attention for some long-neglected but important music.

In September, German publishers Rowohlt Verlag issued Hope’s second book, Wann darf ich klatschen (When do I applaud?).  Further information about the book is available at  In 2007, Rowohlt published Hope’s first book, Familienstücke (Family Album), a memoir that became a bestseller in Germany, where he currently lives.

This season, Hope becomes Artistic Partner at Germany’s Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, one of Europe’s largest festivals, with 57,000 visitors and 100 performances.  Hope’s own series for summer 2010 will be focused on America, where he has secured a residency with both the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Carnegie Hall Academy, who will send chamber groups to perform in Mecklenburg.

Daniel Hope is also featured this season on Sting’s new Deutsche Grammophon recording, If on a winter’s night, to be released in the U.S. on October 27.  Hope joins the singer, with whom he has enjoyed a long friendship, to perform works by Schubert, Purcell, and Vaughan Williams.

Previous season highlights

After the Beaux Arts Trio’s final concert in Lucerne last season – Hope having been the youngest-ever member of the famed ensemble in its illustrious 50-year history – he released his newest DG recording – Vivaldi concertos – directing the Chamber Orchestra of Europe from the violin.  Just this week, on October 19, Hope was awarded the ECHO Klassik Prize for the album, the fifth time he has won the award.  Other previous season highlights include organizing a unique concert at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht; the U.S. premiere of Hermann Suter’s 1924 violin concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra; a performance of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale with actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, during the week-long re-opening ceremonies for the newly-renovated Alice Tully Hall in New York; appearing with Anne Sofie von Otter in “Songs from Theresienstadt” at Carnegie Hall; a collaboration with Sting; serving on the jury of Belgium’s Queen Elisabeth Competition; and being the focus of a Daniel Hope Festival at the Philharmonie in Cologne.

Further information about Daniel Hope and his many activities as performing artist, broadcaster, author, musical activist, and producer can be found at his recently redesigned website:

Daniel Hope: key engagements, 2009-10

October 23-29, 2009
Vivaldi: Le quattro stagioni
Piazzolla: Las cuatro estaciones porteñas
L’Arte del Mondo Chamber Orchestra
Performances in: Gütersloh (Oct 23); Bielefeld (Oct 25); Münster (Oct 27); Regensburg (Oct 29)

November 8, 2009
Burgtheater, Vienna, Austria
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer” with actor Klaus Maria Brandauer
November 9, 2009
Berliner Ensemble, Berlin, Germany
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer” with actor Klaus Maria Brandauer

November 20-21, 2009
Maxwell Davies: Violin Concerto No. 1
Royal Flemish Philharmonic / Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Performances in: Antwerp (Nov 20); Bruges (Nov 21)

November 23-28, 2009
Brahms, de Falla, Grieg, Mendelssohn
Sebastian Knauer, piano
Performances in: Venice (Nov 23); Florence (Nov 28)

December 3, 2009
Konserthuset, Oslo, Norway
Elgar: Violin Concerto
Oslo Philharmonic / Vasily Petrenko

January 15, 2010
Schloss Elmau, Oberbayern, Germany
Sebastian Knauer, piano

January 25, 2010
Trieste, Italy
Sebastian Knauer, piano

January 27-28, 2010
Brahms, de Falla, Grieg, Mendelssohn
Sebastian Knauer, piano
Performances in: Alicante (Jan 27); Jerez (Jan 28)

February 4, 2010
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Philharmonic Orchestra / Victor Yampolsky

February 6, 2010
Cape Town, South Africa

February 11, 2010
City Hall, Durban, South Africa
KZN Philharmonic Orchestra

February 17, 2010
Milan, Italy
Brahms: Violin Concerto
Orchestra Verdi / Xian Zhang

February 26, 2010
Saint Gallen, Switzerland
Sebastian Knauer, piano

March 1-12, 2010
Germany and Switzerland
J.S. Bach, Telemann, Pachelbel, Falconieri, Vivaldi, Handel, Geminiani, Biber
Zürcher Kammerorchester
Performances in: Braunschweig, Germany (Mar 1); Berlin, Germany (Mar 3); Zurich, Switzerland (Mar 10-11); Munich, Germany (Mar 12)

March 18 – April 3
Savannah, Georgia
Savannah Music Festival (dates/programs TBA)

March 20-21, 2010
Los Angeles, CA
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor
Schulhoff/Hope: Double Concerto
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra / Jeffrey Kahane, piano and conductor
Performances in: Alex Theatre (Mar 20); Royce Hall (Mar 21)

April 15, 2010
Istanbul, Turkey
Violin Concerto
Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra / Sascha Goetzel

April 20-21, 2010
Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart / Sir Roger Norrington

April 28 – May 9
Tour of China and Korea
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart / Sir Roger Norrington
May 13, 2010
Musik Triennale Köln, Cologne, Germany
Max Raabe; Roman Trekel; Sebastian Koch; Josephine Knight; Philip Dukes, et. al.
Chamber Orchestra of Europe

May 20, 2010
Tampere, Finland
Britten: Violin Concerto
Tampere Philharmonic / Paul Watkins
June 10, 2010
Basilika, Echternach, Luxembourg
Echternach Festival Solistes Européens / Christoph König

June 17-24, 2010
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1
Sydney Symphony Orchestra / Oleg Caetani
Performances in: Sydney (June 17); Melbourne (June 24)

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© 21C Media Group, October 2009

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