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Daniel Hope’s Terezín DVD, Refuge in Music, is released in U.S. on Nov 19

British violinist and dedicated musical activist Daniel Hope has long championed the music of Jewish composers whose lives and careers were cut short by the Nazis. His most recent project comes to fruition on October 25 with the international release, followed by the U.S. release on November 19, of Refuge in Music, a new Deutsche Grammophon DVD-documentary. Almost 75 years to the day after “Kristallnacht” launched a new and deadly phase of the Holocaust on November 9, 1938, Refuge in Music pays tribute to the musicians interned in the concentration camp Terezín (aka Theresienstadt), with documentary including the violinist’s own interviews with camp survivors, intercut with live concert footage of chamber music composed at Terezín and similar camps, performed by Hope, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, baritone Christian Gerhaher, pianist Bengt Forsberg, and accordionist, bassist and guitarist Bebe Risenfors. A short video trailer is available here.
The violinist, whose own relatives were forced to flee Nazi Berlin, recognized the vital importance of producing Refuge in Music while there were still survivors alive to tell their stories themselves. As he explains,
“The film tells the story of two extraordinary musicians, classical pianist Alice Herz-Sommer (109) and jazz musician Coco Schumann (89) who survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp and whose performances there brought comfort and hope to so many. All artists in this film appeared without a fee, and all artist royalties will be donated to charity. We are indebted to Katja Schaefer and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts for making this project possible.”
Filmed in Terezín and  at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in March 2012, the concert footage features Hope in Erwin Schulhoff’s Sonata for violin and piano and Solo Sonata, and Robert Dauber’s Serenade for violin and piano; the violinist also joins von Otter in a selection of songs composed in Terezín. This is repertoire with which these musicians have already toured throughout the U.S. and Europe; at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the New York Times admired their “fascinating, deeply moving program,” and pronounced their performance “superb.”
The ensemble released a similar program on Terezín/Theresienstadt back in 2007, a DG CD that won France’s coveted Diapason d’Or prize. According to The Guardian (UK), “This hugely important disc…adds immeasurably to our understanding of the remarkable artistic flowering within the camp,” while Hope’s account of the Schulhoff Sonata is “impossible to get through without tears, and completely unforgettable.” Similarly, the New York Times praised the violinist’s “intense performance,” and the way “the frenzied dissonance of the earthy opening movement contrasts with the pathos of the ensuing Andante, played here with soulful eloquence.” An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2007, Hope has won a Classical BRIT Award, the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, and six ECHO Klassik Prizes, besides being nominated for five Grammy Awards, both as soloist and as a member of the Beaux Arts Trio.
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To Hope, Beaux Arts Trio founding member and pianist Menahem Pressler – another artist once forced to flee Nazi Germany – is not only a colleague but also a mentor and a friend. Celebrating the legendary older musician’s 90th birthday, Hope joins Pressler, David Finckel, Wu Han, and the Emerson String Quartet for “The Master Pianist – Pressler at 90”: a program of works by Schubert and Dvorák presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in Bloomington, Indiana (Dec 13) and at New York’s Alice Tully Hall (Dec 14).
Further details of Refuge in Music – and of Daniel Hope’s fall engagements – are provided below, and more information is available at the artist’s web site:
Deutsche Grammophon DVD
Documentary and concert film by Dorothee Binding and Benedict Mirow
International Release date: October 25
U.S. Release Date: November 19
Daniel Hope, violin
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
Christian Gerhaher, baritone
Bengt Forsberg, piano
Bebe Risenfors, accordion, bass, and guitar

With Alice Herz-Sommer and Coco Schumann
Subtitles: English/German/French

A production of Nightfrog GmbH, on behalf of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste.
Daniel Hope: fall engagements
Oct 22
Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich Chamber Orchestra (violin and direction)
Grieg, Mendelssohn, and Mozart
Oct 23
Bern, Switzerland
Zurich Chamber Orchestra (violin and direction)
Grieg, Mendelssohn, and Mozart
Oct 27
Moscow, Russia
Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra / Vladimir Fedoseyev
Britten Violin Concerto
Nov 7
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer” Project at Konzerthaus Wien
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Dec 13
Bloomington, IN 
Indiana University
“Menahem Pressler 90th Birthday: A Concert Celebration”
Dec 14
New York, NY
Alice Tully Hall
“The Master Pianist: Pressler at 90”
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© 21C Media Group, October 2013

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