Sunday, September 16, 2012

Daniel Hope

Daniel Hope is a British violinist, writer, teacher, and conductor, born (in Durban, South Africa) on August 17, 1973.  Besides his concertizing, he is known for his varied interests and is also identified with his extended promotion (more than 17 years) of the music of composers who perished in concentration camps in World War II.  Those composers include Gideon Klein, Pavel Haas, Erwin Schulhoff, and Zigmund Schul.  As a violinist and advocate for various causes, he follows in the footsteps of Bronislaw Huberman, Arthur Hartmann, Joseph Achron, Vladimir Spivakov, Ivry Gitlis, and Shlomo Mintz.  Hope began his violin studies at age four in England as a result of his (indirect) close association with Yehudi Menuhin, whose secretary was Hope’s mother.  He later studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with Zakhar Bron (teacher also of Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin) until graduation.  However, by age 11, he was already playing concerts with Yehudi Menuhin, with whom he collaborated artistically more than 60 times, including Menuhin’s final concert on March 7, 1999 – Menuhin died five days later.  At age 29, in the midst of an established concertizing career, Hope joined the famous Beaux Arts Trio (Menahem Pressler and Antonio Meneses) in 2002 and played with them until they disbanded (after a 53-year career) in 2008.  Of course, he has already played in most of the major concert halls with most of the major orchestras in the world.  He has for many years also been engaged by some of the top music festivals.  Hope has written a fascinating book entitled Family Album but it is written in German – I don’t know whether an English translation is available.  His recording catalog is not extensive but it includes the original version of the Mendelssohn concerto.  Thanks to this recording, we can better appreciate Ferdinand David’s contribution in making the concerto more Romantic in style – the original version sounds a little archaic; in places, as if it had come from Viotti or Spohr.  The recording is not available on YouTube but this one is - it's a more modern concerto.  The New York Times has stated that Hope “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.”  Among other violins, Hope has played a 1769 Gagliano (purchased from Menuhin) and a 1742 Guarnerius – the Lipinski Guarnerius – on loan from a German family.  


  1. Lipinski is that violinist about whom Paganini said :"I don't know who the greatest violinist is, but Lipinski is certainly the second greatest."

  2. This is violinist profile number 310.