New Century Chamber Orchestra
Prelude lecture by Michael Gerdes · 6:30 PM
One of only a handful of conductorless chamber ensembles in the world, based in San Francisco, the New Century Chamber Orchestra performs beloved masterworks from the chamber orchestra repertoire, commissions important new works, breathes new life into rarely heard jewels of the past, and frequently performs world premieres. With British violinist Daniel Hope as concertmaster and Music Director, its 19 string players bring you this exciting program, culminating in a modern, ethereal twist on Vivaldi’s beloved The Four Seasons that will delight you.
British violinist Daniel Hope has enjoyed a thriving international solo career for more than 30 years. Celebrated for his musical versatility and dedication to humanitarian causes, he has been recognized with a string of honors including the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the 2015 European Culture Prize for Music. Besides undertaking solo recitals, chamber concerts and concerto collaborations with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, Hope directs many ensembles from the violin, succeeding Roger Norrington as Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in 2016 and becoming Music Director of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra two years later. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2007, he has an award-winning discography and is also a popular radio and television host who recently anchored the award-winning streaming and TV series Hope@Home. In 2019 he completed his 16th and final season as Associate Artistic Director of Georgia’s Savannah Music Festival and became Artistic Director of Dresden’s Frauenkirche Cathedral. In 2020, following in the distinguished footsteps of Kurt Masur and Joseph Joachim, Hope started his tenure as President of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
Hope first drew notice as the youngest member of the Beaux Arts Trio, giving more than 400 performances with the esteemed ensemble during its final six seasons. Today he is a familiar face at the most prestigious international venues and festivals, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and from Aspen and Tanglewood to Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein—where Hope will be the Featured Artist in 2023—and London’s BBC Proms.
One of today’s most prolific classical recording artists, Hope already has more than 30 albums to his name, recognized with awards including the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d’Or of the Year, the Edison Classical Award and the Prix Caecilia. In response to the war in Ukraine, Hope and Ukrainian pianist Alexey Botvinov released the EP Music for Ukraine, a benefit album featuring music by Ukrainian composers Myroslav Skoryk and Valentin Silvestrov, as well as former Odessa resident Jan Freidlin.
An artist who uses his platform to engage in many spheres, Hope has penned four bestselling books, all published by Germany’s Rowohlt Verlag. He contributes regularly to the Wall Street Journal and has written scripts for collaborative performances with the actors Klaus Maria Brandauer and Mia Farrow. In Germany he presents a weekly radio show for the WDR3 Channel and curates and hosts Hope@9pm, a salon-style music and talk event with cultural and political guests at the Berlin Konzerthaus.
Daniel Hope was educated at London’s Highgate School and Royal Academy of Music, working closely with his mentor Yehudi Menuhin, with whom he gave numerous concerts. Now living with his family in Berlin, Hope plays the 1742 “ex-Lipínski” Guarneri del Gesù, placed generously at his disposal. A documentary titled Daniel Hope – The Sound of Life was screened in movie theaters across North America, Australia and Europe in 2017, and Celtic Dreams: Daniel Hope’s Hidden Irish History aired on ARTE and American Public Radio in spring 2022.
New Century Chamber Orchestra
One of only a handful of conductorless chamber ensembles in the world, New Century Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1992 and includes 19 string players from the San Francisco Bay Area as well throughout the United States. Musical decisions are made collaboratively, resulting in an enhanced level of commitment from the musicians and concerts of remarkable precision, passion, and power. In the 2017–18 season, Daniel Hope served as the ensemble’s Artistic Partner and concertmaster and was appointed beginning in the 2018–19 season as the ensemble’s Music Director, bringing a new era of vibrancy and leadership. Previous music directors of the ensemble include Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (2008–17), Krista Bennion Feeney (1999–06) and Stuart Canin (1992–99).
In addition to performing beloved masterworks from the chamber orchestra repertoire, New Century commissions important new works, breathes new life into rarely heard jewels of the past and frequently performs world premieres. Through its Featured Composer program, composers are commissioned to write new works for the orchestra, with the goals of expanding the repertoire and providing audiences with a deeper understanding and appreciation of today’s living composers. Their extensive recordings include From A to Z: 21st Century Concertos, a compilation of four of New Century’s live world premiere performances of its newly commissioned works by William Bolcom, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Clarice Assad and Michael Daugherty, and LIVE: Barber, Strauss, Mahler, and Together. The Orchestra’s first concert DVD, On Our Way, was released in 2012, and weaves together documentary footage and a live tour concert from a February 2011 performance at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
Banner for String Quartet and Strings
Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, Op. 10
Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons Recomposed
Composed in 1723, Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is arguably the most familiar piece of classical music in the world, and one of the most recorded pieces of all time. Famed for his minimalist post-classical approach, incorporating electronica and found sounds, Max Richter has brought the quartet of baroque concertos into the 21st century, picking his favorite parts of the score and reshaping them into new objects, layering and looping familiar fragments to reinvigorate a work we all know perhaps too well. The first recording of Vivaldi Recomposed, in 2012, featured violinist Daniel Hope and topped the classical charts in 22 countries.
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