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For Daniel Hope, New Year Brings Release of Journey to Mozart and U.S. Tours at Helm of New Century and Zurich Chamber Orchestras

Early this year, Daniel Hope, whose “thriving solo career” is “built on inventive programming and a probing interpretive style” (New York Times), returns to the States for tours with two of the chamber ensembles he directs from the violin. As the new Artistic Partner of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO), he tours the Bay Area with an all-Mozart program to celebrate the composer’s birthday. Besides showcasing his own account of the Classical master’s Third Violin Concerto, their lineup features collaborations with pianists Sebastian Knauer and Menahem Pressler (Jan 24–28). Mozart is also the focus of Hope’s new Deutsche Grammophon recording with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra (ZCO), which is due for release on February 9. Now in his second season as Music Director of the Swiss ensemble, Hope and the ZCO then embark on their first U.S. tour together. After joining forces with the NCCO for a special gala concert in San Francisco (March 16), they tour California, Arizona, and Florida with a pair of contrasting programs: the first coupling Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Max Richter’s modern reimagining of the work, the second comprising a Menuhin tribute highlighted by Bechara El Khoury’s Unfinished Journey (March 18–28). The tour culminates with a three-day ZCO residency at the Savannah Music Festival, where Hope continues his long tenure as Associate Artistic Director (March 29–31). Already recognized with a string of honors that include the prestigious European Cultural Prize for Music, the violinist was recently awarded Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit, in acknowledgement of his international musical presence and projects designed to “break down barriers and bring different communities together.” He has also just been named as first artistic director of Dresden’s Frauenkirche, and looks forward to taking up this specially created position in January 2019.

Having demonstrated what the San Francisco Chronicle calls a “winning spirit of camaraderie and collaboration” with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, Hope launched his three-year appointment with the ensemble this fall, in a concert showcasing his world premiere performance of a newly commissioned concerto from Alan Fletcher. Now the violinist returns to the orchestra for a series of Bay Area concerts to celebrate Mozart’s birthday, which falls on January 27. Their program couples the composer’s 29th Symphony and Adagio and Fugue with two of his concertos. Hope himself undertakes the solo role in the Third Violin Concerto, and reunites with a pair of favorite collaborators for the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A. At San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre on the birthday itself, he and the orchestra join Menahem Pressler, his former co-member of the inimitable Beaux Arts Trio. In Berkeley, Palo Alto, and San Rafael, they join forces with Sebastian Knauer, the longtime duo partner alongside whom Hope recently impressed The Guardian with a “bewitching” performance in which their “passion and muscularity were unmistakable.”

Mozart is also the focus of Hope’s most recent recording as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist. Titled Journey to Mozart, this puts the Classical period in context through a carefully constructed program revealing close links between the composer and his contemporaries. In addition to violin concertos by Haydn, Josef Mysliveček, and Mozart himself, the album offers excerpts from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, a Romance by Johann Peter Salomon, and Mozart’s own Adagio in E and Rondo alla turca, in a new arrangement for orchestra (see full track listing below). Hope explains this repertoire’s appeal for him:

“I love researching different styles of music. So much of Mozart’s music is so modern, so revolutionary that I find it hard to relate the term ‘Classical’ to it. We often use the word today to mean old-fashioned, and yet Mozart is anything but old-fashioned. I find the Classical style and period of music history to be fascinating, because it was at this time that composers began to be themselves, to break away from serving kings and princes and gain their independence as artists. We see how the Classical style, governed by the rules of music, became a way of life. It was out of this order that the idea of the brilliant artist was born; it was the beginning of the way we think about music today.”

Now in his second season as its Music Director, Hope is joined on the new recording by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. After performing music from the album at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and other venues across Germany, they embark on their first U.S. tour together. Taking them to Stanford University, Davis CA, Costa Mesa CA, Beverly Hills CA, Scottsdale AZ, Wickenburg AZ, and West Palm Beach FL, their first program juxtaposes The Four Seasons with Max Richter’s vivid 21st-century reworking of the Baroque masterpiece. Richter composed this for Hope, whose subsequent Deutsche Grammophon recording of it is one of the most successful classical titles of recent years, topping the charts in 22 countries, being named iTunes’ Best U.S. Contemporary Classical Album of 2012 and scoring the violinist a sixth ECHO Klassik Award. The ZCO concerts mark the first time he will have toured the work in the U.S., following a single previous performance five years ago at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge. As for the Vivaldi original, it may be heard alongside the Richter on Hope’s 2017 ZCO collaboration For Seasons, with which he has just scored his seventh ECHO Klassik award. Click here to see Hope and the ZCO play “Summer” from Recomposed: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Hope’s connection with the Zurich orchestra dates back to his childhood, when his mother was manager for Yehudi Menuhin – Hope’s “spiritual father in music” (The Guardian) – at whose Gstaad festival the ZCO regularly performed. Fittingly, then, their second U.S. program hearkens back to Hope’s 2016 release My Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin. In Davis and West Palm Beach, they play two of the works featured on the album: Mendelssohn’s D-minor Violin Concerto, a youthful work that was premiered and first recorded by Menuhin, and Bechara El Khoury’s Unfinished Journey. Its title taken from the legendary violinist’s autobiography of that name, this was commissioned by Hope in honor of the late friend and mentor with whom he had performed more than 60 times. To complete their program, he and the ZCO play Bach’s first violin concerto, Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, and, in West Palm Beach, Mahler’s orchestral arrangement of Schubert’s incomparable “Death and the Maiden” quartet.

The tour concludes at the Savannah Music Festival, where Hope serves as Associate Artistic Director, continuing a relationship that began when he was first appointed as Artist in Residence in 2004. After the first three days, during which the ZCO will be in residence at the festival, he remains behind to participate in and oversee all its classical music programming. The cross-genre festival is Georgia’s largest musical arts event, presenting more than 100 offerings over 17 days each spring. Thanks in no small part to the creative vision Hops brings to its classical programming, “the festival seems to broaden its musical reach every year” (NPR), and is recognized as “one of the top music festivals in the world” (USA Today).

To download high-resolution photos, click here.

Daniel Hope: Journey to Mozart

Recorded with Zurich Chamber Orchestra

Label: Deutsche Grammophon

International release date: February 9

GLUCK: “Dance of the Furies” from Orfeo ed Euridice

GLUCK: “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from Orfeo ed Euridice

HAYDN: Violin Concerto in G

MYSLIVEČEK: Larghetto from Violin Concerto in D

MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G (K. 216)

MOZART: Adagio in E (K. 261)

SALOMON: Romance for violin and strings

MOZART (arr. for orchestra): Rondo alla turca

Daniel Hope: upcoming engagements

Jan 16

Zurich, Switzerland

With Daishin Kashimoto, violin; Amihai Grosz, viola; Claudio Bohórquez, cello; David Greilsammer, piano

BEETHOVEN: String Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3

SCHUMANN: Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 47

BRAHMS: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34

Jan 18, 19

Seville, Spain

Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla / John Axelrod


Jan 20

Essen, Germany

Air – A Baroque Journey

Jan 24–28

New Century Chamber Orchestra

Mozart Birthday Celebration

MOZART: Symphony No. 29, KV 201

MOZART: Adagio and Fugue

MOZART: Concerto for Violin No. 3, KV 216

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, KV 488

Jan 24: San Francisco, CA (Kanbar Performing Arts Center – Open Rehearsal)

Jan 25: Berkeley, CA (First Congregational Church; with Sebastian Knauer, piano)

Jan 26: Palo Alto, CA (Oshman Family Jewish Community Center; with Sebastian Knauer, piano)

Jan 27: San Francisco, CA (Herbst Theatre; with Menahem Pressler, piano)

Jan 28: San Rafael, CA (Osher Marin Jewish Community Center; with Sebastian Knauer, piano)

Feb 1

Berlin, Germany

Hope@9pm with actor Sebastian Koch

Feb 20-27

Tour with Zurich Chamber Orchestra

GLUCK: “Dance of the Furies” from Orfeo ed Euridice

HAYDN: Violin Concerto in G, Hob. VIIa:4

MOZART: Adagio in E, KV 261

MOZART: Divertimento in F, KV 138

MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G, KV 216

MOZART: Symphony No. 29 in A, KV 201

Feb 20: Schloss Elmau, Germany

Feb 21: München, Germany

Feb 22: Braunschweig, Germany

Feb 23: Hannover, Germany

Feb 24: Düsseldorf, Germany

Feb 25: Bielefeld, Germany

Feb 26: Berlin, Germany

Feb 27: Hamburg, Germany

March 16

San Francisco, CA

Herbst Theatre

Gala concert with New Century Chamber Orchestra and Zurich Chamber Orchestra

March 18–28

U.S. tour with Zurich Chamber Orchestra

Program 1:

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons

MAX RICHTER: Recomposed

Program 2:

ELGAR: Introduction and Allegro for Strings

BECHARA EL KHOURY: Unfinished Journey for violin and strings

MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto in D minor

BACH: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041

SCHUBERT (arr. MAHLER): String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810, “Death and the Maiden”

March 18: Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (Program 1)

March 19: Davis, CA (Program 2, without Schubert/Mahler)

March 21: Costa Mesa, CA (Program 1)

March 22: Beverly Hills, CA (Program 1)

March 24: Scottsdale, AZ (Program 1)

March 25: Wickenburg, AZ (Program 1)

March 27: West Palm Beach, FL (Program 2)

March 28: Society of the Four Arts, West Palm Beach, FL (Program 1)

March 29–31

Savannah, GA

Savannah Music Festival with Zurich Chamber Orchestra

March 29:

VIVALDI: “The Four Seasons” (Violin Concertos Nos. 1–4); Concerto No. 10 for 4 Violins in B minor

SCHUBERT: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor (arr. for orchestra)

March 30:

MOZART: Divertimento in F; Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat; Symphony No. 29 in A

ALAN FLETCHER: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

March 31:

Music of GERSHWIN and WEILL (arr. Paul Bateman; with Marcus Roberts Trio)

April 1, 6, 8, 13

Savannah, GA

Savannah Music Festival: Hope in residence as Associate Artistic Director

April 1: Daniel Hope’s Air: A Baroque Journey

April 6: Zukerman Trio with Daniel Hope and Friends

April 8: Daniel Hope and Friends: Balkan Roots

April 13: Daniel Hope and Friends: Romantic Masterworks

May 5

Dresden, Germany


Zurich Chamber Orchestra

May 6

Ahrensburg, Germany


May 13

Essen, Germany

May 14

Chur, Switzerland

Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Vesselina Kasarova, mezzo-soprano

May 15

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Chamber Orchestra with Vesselina Kasarova, mezzo-soprano

May 17-18

Essen, Germany

Essener Philharmoniker / John Axelrod

KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35

WEILL: Suite for violin and orchestra (arr. Paul Bateman)

June 1-4

Madrid, Spain

June 9

London, England

Royal Festival Hall

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Oliver Gooch

BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26

June 19

Zurich, Switzerland

June 23

Essen, Germany

Essener Philharmoniker

ERWIN SCHULHOFF: Concerto for flute, piano, two horns and string orchestra (version for violin, piano and orchestra)

BRUCE ADOLPHE: I will not remain silent: Concerto for violin and orchestra

June 24

Bad Kissingen, Germany

June 29

Berlin, Germany

Komische Oper

Sebastian Knauer, piano

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© 21C Media Group, January 2018

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