“The playing of the British violinist Daniel Hope…is not just distinguished by its tonal beauty, but by its compelling rhetorical quality.” — The Wall Street JournalFor his ninth season as a performer and his eighth as Associate Artistic Director at the Savannah Music Festival (March 22-April 7), Daniel Hope has curated an extraordinary array of concerts that make up the classical portion of Georgia’s largest cross-genre musical arts festival. As a violinist, Hope will make nine appearances during the 2012 Savannah Music Festival (SMF), primarily as part of the Daniel Hope & Friends series, presented in the dramatic Rotunda of Savannah’s Telfair Academy. Highlights include Hope’s recital of the complete Brahms violin sonatas with Sebastian Knauer; an evening with old friend and Beaux Arts Trio colleague Menahem Pressler; three performances with keyboard star Kristian Bezuidenhout and the period chamber orchestra l'arte del mondo (which makes its U.S. premiere at SMF 2012); and two ensemble evenings with violinist Lorenza Borrani (concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe) and others. When he’s not performing, Hope will oversee the balance of the festival’s classical programming. This year’s classical lineup welcomes, among others, the Takács Quartet, the Emerson Quartet, pianist Yefim Bronfman with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the trio of David Finckel, Wu Han, and Philip Setzer. After a recent contract renewal with the festival, Hope's work as Associate Artistic Director will continue at least until 2015, marking his tenth year in the position. Other artists performing at this year’s SMF include Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Pace de Lucia, Marcus Roberts, Zakir Hussain and Lyle Lovett.
For two weeks each spring, the Savannah Music Festival fills Georgia’s most beautiful city with a celebration of the musical arts. Its programs explore a range of styles: From jazz to world, classical to Americana, the festival reflects this vibrant southern city and the myriad of people who make up its diverse, colorful culture. In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, Hope remarked, "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."
Hope makes his first SMF 2012 appearance on March 24 in Daniel Hope & Friends: Menahem & Dvořák, which reunites Hope with one of his most beloved musical partners, pianist Menahem Pressler, founder of one of the chamber music world’s most legendary groups, the Beaux Arts Trio (with which Hope played for the ensemble’s final six years). Other SMF veteran players round out the roster for this all-Dvorák program.
One of SMF’s 2012 undeniable highlights will be Hope’s March 25 program, The Brahms Violin Sonatas: Daniel Hope & Sebastian Knauer. Musical colleagues who have regularly worked together for almost 20 years, the violinist and pianist tackle all three Brahms violin sonatas in a concert marking Hope’s first SMF recital in a number of years.