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Daniel Hope Violin

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Daniel Hope

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British violinist Daniel Hope has toured the world as a virtuoso soloist for many years, and as the youngest ever member of the Beaux Arts Trio during its last six seasons. He is renowned for his musical versatility and creativity, and for his dedication to humanitarian causes. Hope performs as soloist with the world’s major orchestras and conductors, directs many ensembles from the violin, and plays chamber music in a wide variety of traditional and new venues. Born in South Africa and raised and educated in England, Hope earned degrees at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with renowned Russian pedagogue Zakhar Bron.

Called “adventurous and brilliant” by the New York Times, Hope was named “the most exciting British string player since Jacqueline du Pré,” by the London Observer. Arecent New York Times review summarized him as “a violinist of probing intellect and commanding style,” and continued: “In a business that likes tidy boxes drawn around its commodities, the British violinist Daniel Hope resists categorization. Mr. Hope, a compelling performer whose work involves standard repertory, new music, raga, and jazz, emphasizes thoughtful engagement over flamboyant display. In his most personal undertakings, he puts classical works within a broader context – not just among other styles and genres but amid history, literature, and drama – to emphasize music’s role as a mirror for struggle and aspiration.”

In July 2010, Hope began his tenure as Artistic Partner at the prestigious Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, set in one of Germany’s most beautiful provinces. In addition to the festival’s many chamber music concerts, Hope arranged and performed at a special open-air multi-genre concert to raise awareness of the world’s climate change crisis. Other highlights of Hope’s 2010-11 season include concerto and recital appearances throughout Europe before coming to the US in December for performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and with the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Hope returns to the US in February for a recital tour with frequent collaborator pianist Jeffrey Kahane, followed in March by his annual appearances at the Savannah Music Festival, where he has been Associate Artistic Directorfor several seasons.

In the summer of 2009, Hope gave the world- and UK-premiere performances of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s second violin concerto, Fiddler on the Shore – written for Hope and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra – in Leipzig and at London’s BBC Proms. In the 2009-10 season, he also gave concerto performances in Japan and the Far East, all the major European cities, and in the US, including the Mendelssohn concerto (of which his Deutsche Grammophon recording was selected as one of the year’s best recordings by the New York Times) and Schulhoff’s Double Concerto with Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. A recital at UCLA benefitted the OREL Foundation, an organization dedicated to recovering music suppressed by the Nazis during the Third Reich. He also gave solo recitals in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

Now an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, Hope has earned numerous Grammy nominations, a Classical BRIT award, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, and four consecutive ECHO Klassik Prizes. His most recent release, Air. a baroque journey, looks at the history of the violin in the Baroque era. The CD pairs well-known works like Pachelbel’s Canon, the folk tune “Greensleeves”, and Bach’s sublime Air with rarely-heard compositions by Falconieri, Matteis, Geminiani, and Westhoff, among others. Gramophone magazine called it, “an exciting disc, with a heady, pied-piper power over the listener that comes from realizing that the bright sense of discovery once felt by these composers is being experienced just as much by their modern-day interpreters. You can’t ask for much more than that.” Hope previously recorded for Warner Classics and Nimbus, playing Bach, Berg, Britten, Elgar, Finzi, Foulds, Ireland, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Penderecki, Schnittke, Shostakovich, Tippett, Walton, and Weill. His interpretation of Ravi Shankar’s compositions, on the CD East Meets West, met with worldwide acclaim.

Beyond the concert stage, Hope has penned two books published in Germany, titled Familienstücke (Family Album), his best-selling memoir, and Wann darf ich klatschen? (When do I clap?). He has written scripts for collaborative performance pieces with the Oscar-winning actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, including “War and Pieces,” “Mozart Unplugged!” and “Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Someone Had to Do Something.” He also wrote “An Audience with Beethoven” for Mia Farrow, and “Forbidden Music,” featuring poetry and music written by prisoners at Theresienstadt. Some of these projects received premieres at the Savannah Music Festival.

Yehudi Menuhin invited the 11-year-old Daniel Hope to join him playing Bartók duos on German television, launching a long artistic partnership consisting of over 60 concerts, including Lord Menuhin’s final appearance in 1999, in which he conducted Hope’s performance of Alfred Schnittke’s Violin Concerto.

Hans Graf, Daniel Harding, Thomas Hengelbrock, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Roger Norrington, Sakari Oramo, Michel Plasson, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Christian Thielemann are among the conductors with whom Daniel Hope has worked. Instrumental collaborators include Sting, Thomas Adès, Yuri Bashmet, Edgar Meyer, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Philippe Entremont, Lynn Harrell, Jaime Laredo, Sebastian Knauer, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Mark Padmore, Menahem Pressler, and Tabea Zimmermann.

Devoted to contemporary music, Hope has enjoyed close contact with composers such as HK Gruber, Sofia Gubaidulina, György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, and Mark-Anthony Turnage. He recorded Toru Takemitsu’s violin concerto, “Nostalgia,” with the composer. In 2008, Hope and Stewart Copeland, the former drummer of The Police, premiered Copeland’s Celeste for violin and percussion at the Savannah Festival. Hope also gave the world premiere performance and recording of the critically-revised violin concerto by Alban Berg. A Sunday Telegraph reviewer wrote of the CD: “I do not think I have ever heard a finer account of the Berg than Daniel Hope gives here, not only played to technical perfection but with its poignant emotional content realized to the full.”

Hope regularly directs chamber orchestras as violin soloist with ensembles including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Camerata Salzburg, and Concerto Köln. He has performed at the world’s most important festivals, such as the BBC Proms, and the Lucerne, Ravinia, Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Tanglewood festivals. He has also performed in all of the world’s most prestigious venues and greatest orchestras including the Boston, Chicago, Toronto, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras, as well as the major orchestras of Berlin, Birmingham, Dallas, Detroit, Dresden, Israel, London, Moscow, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, and Vienna.

© 21C Media Group, August 2010

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