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Daniel Hope tours the Bay Area, Twin Cities & Canada this spring

(March 2024) — Daniel Hope, the Berlin-based violinist whose “thriving solo career [is] built on inventive programming and a probing interpretive style” (New York Times), returns to North America for three major projects this spring. With California’s New Century Chamber Orchestra, of which he is now in his sixth season as Music Director and Concertmaster, he leads a pair of Bay Area tours with programs featuring cellist Sterling Elliott (March 8–10) and pianist Awadagin Pratt (May 2–4), respectively. With the AIR Ensemble, Hope’s musical collaborator for more than a decade, he celebrates his “Irish Roots” in Montreal, Toronto and Minnesota’s Twin Cities, where he and the ensemble also revisit their acclaimed “Baroque Journey” program (April 23–28). Finally, Hope joins pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips for recitals in St. Paul and San Francisco, where their program features the U.S. premiere of Fantasy Suite 1803 by Jake Heggie (April 25–30). These engagements follow the release by Deutsche Grammophon of DANCE! on February 2. Hope’s sixth recording with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the new double album traces the history of Western dance from medieval times to the 20th century. Currently scaling bestseller lists worldwide, the album has topped the German classical chart and is at number two in Canada.

Bay Area tours with New Century Chamber Orchestra (March 8–10; May 2–4)
San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO) is one of one of the world’s few conductorless ensembles. Since becoming its Music Director and Concertmaster in 2018, Hope and the NCCO have won praise in a wide range of repertoire. A live all-Mozart program induced “thrills and chills” (San Francisco Classical Voice), while their recent recording of new commissions prompted Strings magazine to marvel:

“I can’t speak highly enough of Hope’s solo abilities and of New Century as a model of professionalism and unwavering advocacy of contemporary music. For those in search of inspiration – or just looking to stimulate the mind – Music for a New Century beckons.”

Next month, Hope and the orchestra return to San Francisco (March 8 & 9) and Stanford University (March 10) for “Playing with Structure,” a program featuring Haydn’s First Cello Concerto. Their soloist is American cellist Sterling Elliott, a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and the winner of the Senior Division of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition, who collaborated with Hope two years ago at a Munich chamber concert that marked the young cellist’s German debut. Also on the program are Suite Italienne – an adaptation for violin and strings of Stravinsky’s neoclassical ballet Pulcinella – and works by Mozart, Gluck and Bloch.

Later this spring, Hope and NCCO reconvene for concerts in Berkeley (May 2), Sonoma State University (May 3) and San Francisco (May 4). This time their program showcases American pianist Awadagin Pratt, who, since winning the Naumburg International Piano Competition in 1992, has proven himself “one of the great and distinctive American pianists and conductors of our time” (WGBH, Boston). Pratt joins Hope and NCCO for Grass, a work for piano, strings and percussion in which composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson confronted his concerns about the Korean War. This opens an all-American program of 20th-century music. David Diamond’s exuberant Rounds for strings was written to dispel the wartime gloom of the 1940s. Originally scored for organ, Florence Price’s Adoration will be heard in an original arrangement for violin and strings by frequent Hope collaborator Paul Bateman. The program closes with Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium), an epic work for solo violin, strings and percussion that was inspired by the ancient Greek debate about love.

“Irish Roots” & more with AIR Ensemble in Canada & Twin Cities (April 23–28)
Two years ago, PBS stations nationwide aired Celtic Dreams: Daniel Hope’s Hidden Irish History, a TV documentary following the violinist as he explored Ireland, Irish music and his own family past. Upstate New York’s WPBS-TV presents an encore screening of Celtic Dreams to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, and July brings the release of Irish Roots, Hope’s new Deutsche Grammophon album featuring collaborations with James Galway and Lúnasa. Meanwhile, by way of an upbeat to the new recording, the violinist revisits his “Irish Roots” on a transatlantic tour with the AIR Ensemble, which comprises Simos Papanas on violin, Emanuele Forni on both lute and Baroque guitar, Nicola Mosca on cello, Michael Metzler on percussion and Markellos Chryssicos on harpsichord. After launching their tour at Germany’s Essen Philharmonie (April 20), the musicians head to North America for dates in Montreal (April 23), Toronto (April 24) and St. Paul, MN (April 27), with a program combining “The Red-Haired Boy,” “Coey’s Hornpipe,” “Dublin Streets” and other traditional Irish folk songs with Baroque selections. Alongside works by Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Purcell and others – some in original arrangements by Olivier Fourès, Hope’s collaborator on his Journey to Mozart album – are compositions by three of their less well-known contemporaries: Celtic harpist Turlough O’Carolan, English-born Irish organist Thomas Roseingrave and Scotland’s James Oswald, who served as Chamber Composer to King George III.

The St. Paul concert takes place at the Schubert Club, where Hope currently serves as the2023–24 Featured Artist. By way of a postscript to the tour, he and the ensemble continue the Schubert Club residency with an all-Baroque program of Bach, Handel, Telemann, Falconieri, Westhoff and others in Minneapolis (April 28). A similar selection may be heard on their 2009 DG release Air: A Baroque Journey, an “exquisite disc … with a heady, pied-piper power over the listener,” of which Gramophone concluded: “You can’t ask for much more than that.”

“Belle Époque” recitals in St. Paul & San Francisco (April 25–30)
Hope’s celebrated DG discography also includes the 2020 release Belle Époque. Combining popular music and classical rarities from Europe before World War I, the album was hailed as “an ingenious, gorgeous concept album” (Telegraph, UK). This spring, the violinist reunites with pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips, his partner on the recording, for recitals of similar repertoire in St. Paul (April 25 & 26), as part of his ongoing Schubert Club residency, and San Francisco (April 30). In St. Paul, works by Ravel, Franck and Enescu will rub shoulders with those of Fauré, Schoenberg and Kreisler, while at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, Hope and the pianist complete their program with the U.S. premiere of Fantasy Suite 1803 by Jake Heggie, the two-time Grammy nominee best known for his hugely successful operatic output.

Inspired by Beethoven’s 1803 residency at the Theater an der Wien, Heggie’s work was commissioned by the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, where Hope – following in the distinguished footsteps of Kurt Masur and Joseph Joachim – serves as President. With Lise de la Salle at the keyboard, he gave the suite’s world premiere performance at the Beethoven-Haus in 2022, before joining Crawford-Phillips for its UK premiere at London’s Wigmore Hall.

“Daniel Hope Week” & Zurich Chamber Orchestra in Europe
Beyond North America, Hope returns to Germany’s Schloss Elmau for the third Daniel Hope Week: six chamber concerts by the violinist and his friends, baritone Thomas Hampson among them, over the course of an intensive week-long residency (April 1–6). Hope also tours Switzerland for a program of Bach, Mozart and Bruch with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, of which he is now in his eighth season as Music Director (March 17–19).

DANCE!, now available from DG
February 2 brought the physical and digital release by Deutsche Grammophon of DANCE!, Hope’s sixth recording with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Tracing seven centuries of Western dance, the imaginatively programmed double album offers almost two hours of music by Purcell, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Offenbach, Price, Bartók, Piazzolla and others, in styles that range from Baroque opera and Russian ballet to klezmer, tango and swing. The album is already scaling the classical charts, and earlier this month, Hope and the Swiss ensemble celebrated its release with live accounts of a similar dance-themed program in twelve German cities, including Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Berlin, Cologne, Munich and Hamburg, where they gave two sold-out performances at the city’s iconic Elbphilharmonie.

Download high-resolution photos here.


Daniel Hope: spring engagements

 March 8–10: Bay Area concerts with New Century Chamber Orchestra
“Playing With Structure”
March 8 & 9: San Francisco, CA (Presidio Theatre)
March 10: Palo Alto, CA (Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University)
GLUCK: “Dance of the Furies” from Orfeo ed Euridice
BLOCH: “Prayer” from Jewish Life, No. 1
HAYDN: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C (with Sterling Elliott, cello)
MOZART: Six contredanses, K. 462
STRAVINSKY arr. A. Williams): Suite Italienne for violin and strings (adapted from Pulcinella)

March 17–19: Swiss concerts with Zurich Chamber Orchestra
March 17: Chur (Theater Chur)
March 18: Bern (Casino)
March 19: Zurich (Tonhalle)
With Oliver Schnyder, piano
BACH: Double Violin Concerto
BRUCH (arr. E. Causa): Double Concerto for Violin and Viola
MOZART: Divertimento in D from Salzburg Symphony No. 1

 March 31
Krün, Germany
Schloss Elmau
“Nils Landgren Meets Daniel Hope”
With Nils Landgren, trombone, and friends

April 1–6
Krün, Germany
Schloss Elmau
3rd Daniel Hope Week
April 1: Opening concert: “Daniel Hope & Friends”
Incl. TCHAIKOVSKY: String sextet, “Souvenir de Florence”
April 2: “Daniel Hope & Friends”
Incl. DVOŘÁK: String sextet
April 4: “Los Angeles 1943 – Escape to Paradise”
Featuring Thomas Hampson baritone
April 5: “Daniel Hope & Friends”
Incl. HUMMEL: Piano Quintet in E-flat; BRUCH: 8 Pieces, Op. 83
April 5 (late): “Late Night Jazz with Daniel Hope & Friends”
Jazz & chansons
April 6: Closing concert: “Daniel Hope & Friends”
Incl. DE FALLA: Suite populaire espagnole; BRAHMS: Horn Trio

 April 20
Essen, Germany
“Irish Roots”
With AIR Ensemble
Traditional Irish folk music and works by O’CAROLAN, ROSEINGRAVE, OSWALD, VIVALDI, PURCELL and others

 April 23–28: North American tour with AIR Ensemble
“Irish Roots”
April 23: Montreal, Canada (Museum of Fine Arts)
April 24: Toronto, Canada
April 27: St. Paul, MN (Schubert Club)
Traditional Irish folk music and works by O’CAROLAN, ROSEINGRAVE, OSWALD, VIVALDI, PURCELL and others

“AIR: A Baroque Journey”
April 28: Minneapolis, MN (Minnesota Opera Luminary Arts Center)

April 25–30: U.S. recitals with Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano
La Belle Époque”
April 25 & 26: St. Paul, MN (Schubert Club)
April 30: San Francisco, CA (Chamber Music SF; Herbst Theatre)
ENESCU: Impromptu Concertant
KREISLER: Liebesleid (St. Paul only)
RAVEL: Sonate posthume
SCHOENBERG: Piece for Violin and Piano in D minor (St. Paul only)
FAURÉ: Andante (St. Paul only)
Jake HEGGIE: Fantasy Suite 1803 (U.S. premiere; San Francisco only)
FRANCK: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A

 May 2–4: Bay Area concerts with New Century Chamber Orchestra
“Love and War”
May 2: Berkeley, CA (First Congregational Church)
May 3: Rohnert Park, CA (Green Music Center, Sonoma State University)
May 4: San Francisco, CA (Presidio Theatre)
PERKINSON: Grass, Poem for Piano, Strings & Percussion (with Awadagin Pratt, piano)
DIAMOND: Rounds, for strings
PRICE: Adoration for violin and strings (arr. Paul Bateman)
BERNSTEIN: Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium)

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© 21C Media Group, March 2024

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