Daniel Hope Releases the Astronomy-Inspired DG Album “Spheres” and Celebrates 10 Years of Co-Leading the Savannah Music Festival

“An artist of both dazzle and depth.” New Yorker

Violinist Daniel Hope – whose first half of the season ranged characteristically far and wide on record and on stage – now looks forward to a red-letter spring. On March 12, he releases his second Deutsche Grammophon album of the season: the astronomy-inspired Spheres, which evokes “musica universalis” with pieces ranging from the Baroque to the 21st century. From March 21 to April 5, Hope celebrates his 10th anniversary as Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival with his annual residency, which sees him collaborate with such great peers as Anne Sofie von Otter, David Finckel and Jaime Laredo. Prior to the album release and the residency, Hope performs Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 – a work that appeared on his lauded 2011 DG album The Romantic Violinist – with the Indianapolis Symphony under Krzysztof Urbanski (Feb 14-16). Gramophone recently chose Hope's recording of the ever-popular Bruch concerto as the one to have in its "Gramophone Guide to the Essentials."


Hope’s Spheres explores the idea, initiated by Pythagoras, that planetary movement creates its own kind of music – “musica universalis.” This idea has fascinated philosophers, musicians and mathematicians for centuries. Hope’s album offers evocative music in a myriad styles, from fresh arrangements of Baroque works (by J.S. Bach and J.P. Westhoff) and late-Romantic pieces (Fauré) to works of 20th-century minimalism (classics by Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman) and the 21st-century East (Lera Auerbach, Elena Kats-Chernin). There are such contemporary gems as Karsten Gundermann’s “Nachspiel” from his Faust, as well as new works written for Hope by up-and-comers Alex Baranowski (who composed the melody-rich Musica Universalis), Gabriel Prokofiev (grandson of Sergey, who penned the title work), Ludovico Einaudi and Aleksey Igudesman. On the CD, Hope also teams up again with composer Max Richter, with whom he collaborated on the recent critically and commercially successful DG release Vivaldi Recomposednamed iTunes Best Contemporary Classical Album for the U.S. for 2012.

Hope recorded Spheres, which features five world premiere recordings, in the old East German broadcasting hall in Berlin alongside the Rundfunkchor Berlin, pianist Jacques Ammon, and the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin under Simon Halsey.

There is a scene-setting trailer for Spheres available online here, as well as a complete track list here. In the trailer, Hope says: “There is every kind of emotion on this album, from the most serene and beautiful to upbeat tempos and jazzy, lively things. The idea is: where can music transport you, to what kind of a plane? That, for me, is very exciting.”

Watch Hope talk about the new album with the BBC here:

Savannah Music Festival: 10 Years

The Savannah Music Festival, run by Rob Gibson, founding director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, commissions and stages original, one-time only productions, collaborations and premieres over a three-week period every spring. Discussing the cross-genre ethos of the Savannah Music Festival last year with the Wall Street Journal, Hope said: “Savannah’s hallmark is its cultural diversity, and on any given day our programs range from, say, the Baroque to Brahms to Edgar Meyer, from Fauré to Portuguese fado, from Béla Fleck to Chris Thile. It's a celebration of music in all its many forms.” With this spring’s festival, taking place from March 21 to April 5, Hope celebrates his 10th anniversary as its Associate Artistic Director. Hope says: “I look forward to my time in Savannah each year. It is a unique, exciting opportunity to explore music and art with good friends, onstage and off.”

On March 21 in Savannah, it’s Daniel Hope & Friends with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, performing Brahms and Beethoven; on March 22, Hope, von Otter and company perform Dvorák, Loeffler, Ives and Copland. Hope teams with cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han for Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio on March 27. Hope & Friends play quintets by Schubert, Brahms and a world premiere by Alexandra Du Bois on March 30, then it’s the Mendelssohn Octet and more with Hope joining the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and the Miami String Quartet on April 1. On April 2, Hope & Friends gather again, this time to play string ensemble works by Mozart, Dvorák and Richard Strauss, and give the world premiere of The Sun was Chasing Venus, a “viola quintet” written by British composer Charlotte BrayHope closes out his Savanah season on April 5 in a chamber concert featuring works by Schubert and Beethoven.

Vivaldi Recomposed on NPR Music

In December, Daniel Hope joined composer Max Richter for two performances of Vivaldi Recomposed, Richter’s “bewitchingly brilliant” (Wall Street Journal) reimagining of Vivaldi’s iconic Four Seasons, at the New York’s downtown venue Le Poisson Rouge. The New York Times praised Hope for “demonstrating his usual combination of virtuosity and insight” and NPR Music was on hand to record the concert for its online video series “Field Recordings.” 

Click here to watch the concert in its entirety:

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