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.
London’s Observer called Hope «the most exciting British string player since Jacqueline du Pré,» and recent New York Times reviews summarized his unique attributes: «... a violinist of probing intellect and commanding style... 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 August and September 2009, in Leipzig and at the BBC Proms respectively, world premiere performances of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s concerto - written for Hope and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the work’s commissioner - raise the curtain on Hope’s new season. He will perform concertos with orchestras in Japan and the Far East, and all the major European cities, returning to the U.S. in March 2010 for his annual appearances at the Savannah Music Festival, where he has been Associate Artistic Director for several seasons. On the West Coast, Hope performs 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, and gives a recital at UCLA for the Orel Foundation, an organization dedicated to recovering music suppressed by the Nazis during the Third Reich. Hope also gives solo recitals this season in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. His new recording, Air - A Baroque Journey, will also be issued by DG this season. Starting in 2010, Hope will be an Artistic Partner at Germany’s Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Hope has toured extensively with Anne Sofie von Otter and pianist Bengt Forsberg in a significant collaboration that began as a recording for Deutsche Grammophon and continues this fall with a 15-city European tour. Their CD and performances of music composed during World War II by prisoners at the Theresienstadt concentration camp have won acclaim and new attention for some long-neglected music.
After the Beaux Arts Trio’s final concert in Lucerne last season, Hope released his newest DG recording - Vivaldi concertos - directing the Chamber Orchestra of Europe from the violin. Previous season highlights include a unique concert, organized by Hope, at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht; the U.S. premiere of Hermann Suter’s 1924 violin concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra; 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; a performance 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.
Hope’s first book, Familienstücke (Family Album) , is a best-selling memoir published in Germany, where he currently lives. 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. Hope is a regular radio presenter for the BBC and American Public Media. His new book - «Wann darf ich klatschen?» (When do I clap?) -will be published in September by the Rowohlt publishing house in Germany.
Daniel Hope, now an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, has earned numerous Grammy nominations, a Classical BRIT award, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, and four consecutive ECHO Klassik Prizes. He 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.
Yehudi Menuhin invited the eleven-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, Katja and Marielle Labèque, Mark Padmore, Menahem Pressler, and Tabea Zimmermann.
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.
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.»
Daniel Hope has performed in all of the world’s most prestigious venues and with the world’s great orchestras. Highlights include the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and 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.
18 September 2009