Daniel Hope (violinist)

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Daniel Hope (2016)

Daniel Hope (born August 17, 1973 in Durban , South Africa ) is an Irish - German violinist who grew up in England . He became known, among other things, through his collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin and as a member of the Beaux Arts Trio , but also as an initiator of musical projects, moderator in television and radio programs and as the author of several books. He has been leading the Zurich Chamber Orchestra since 2016 .


Origin and education

Daniel Hope is the second son of the writer Christopher Hope and the music manager Eleanor Klein-Hope. Christopher Hope's maternal grandfather had come to South Africa from Ireland to take part in the Second Boer War on the British side . Eleanor Hope's Jewish parents had lived in Berlin and fled into exile in South Africa before the National Socialists.

The Hope family moved from South Africa to London in early 1974 when Daniel was six months old . In 1975 Eleanor Hope became Yehudi Menuhin's personal assistant , who promptly helped the Hope family find a home in Highgate . A little later Eleanor Hope became Menuhins manager, from 1980 to 1996 she was also the director of the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad , Switzerland. As a child, Daniel Hope played with Menuhin's grandchildren and saw famous musicians visit Menuhin.

When he was three years old, Daniel Hope said he wanted to be a violinist. He started playing the violin at the age of four. When he was six years old, his father placed him in the Yehudi Menuhin School . Daniel immediately said that he couldn't wait to play Beethoven's violin concerto . At the age of eight, Daniel secretly practiced Mendelssohn's violin concerto in a toilet at the boarding school, although at the time he was expected to learn only a single movement from a Bach concerto . The headmaster reprimanded him and the father was asked to talk to the school to clarify. Daniel was then transferred to the Highgate School in London and received private violin lessons for about eight years. He then studied at the Royal College of Music , including with Grigori Schislin , and at the Lübeck University of Music . In the official biography Zakhar Bron , Itzhak Rashkovsky and Felix Andrievsky are named as his violin teachers.

Since he grew up in England, Daniel Hope is often referred to as a British violinist - or, because of his birthplace, as a “South African-British” violinist. In 2009, Die Zeit wrote that he was a "South African-British violinist with confused Irish-German-cosmopolitan roots". Hope had only an Irish passport for the longest time. By obtaining Irish passports, the family traveling to England wanted to take advantage of the fact that "foreigners have a longer right of residence in Great Britain", as Hope explains. He has also been a German citizen since 2017 .

His older brother, Jasper Hope , was CEO of the new Dubai Opera from 2016 to 2019 .

Career as a violinist

Cultural center in Mikkeli, Finland: Daniel Hope made his debut here in 1989

Daniel Hope made his debut in Finland at the age of 15: on January 24, 1989, he played Mendelssohn's violin concerto with the Jyväskylä Sinfonia under William Boughton in the new Mikkeli concert hall . His parents and brother witnessed the concert in the audience. Shortly afterwards, a close artistic collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin began; Before that, Hope had only taken a few lessons from Menuhin. In the following eleven years Menuhin performed as a conductor and Hope as a soloist in more than 60 joint concerts. Hope was also the soloist at Menuhin's last concert, which took place on March 7, 1999 in the Tonhalle Düsseldorf , five days before Menuhin's death.

In April 2002 Daniel Hope became the youngest member in the history of the Beaux Arts Trio , with whom he gave several concerts and in 2005 celebrated the 50th birthday of the ensemble. The Boston Globe described the formation as "the strongest in the history of the trio". After more than 400 concerts in its last formation, the trio withdrew from concert life in September 2008.

Daniel Hope has been under contract with the classic label Deutsche Grammophon since 2007 .

On January 27, 2010, on the occasion of the Memorial Day for the Victims of National Socialism in the German Bundestag, he played the play Kaddish by Maurice Ravel in the presence of Israeli President Shimon Peres . This was a violinist's first appearance in the German Bundestag.

In his concerts Daniel Hope advocates contemporary music and the music of the 20th century. He recorded the violin concertos by Alban Berg , Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich , discovered an early violin sonata by Alfred Schnittke and gave world premieres.

In 2019 Hope recorded the score for the feature film Zwingli with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra . The solo violin he plays symbolizes the reformer's keen understanding.

Since 2011 Hope has been playing the violin "Ex- Lipiński " from the workshop of Guarneri del Gesù from 1742, which is made available to him by an anonymous family. A violin by Januarius Gagliano of Naples, made in 1769, belongs to him himself. Hope acquired this instrument, valued at £ 250,000 in 2007, from Yehudi Menuhin. He also owns an electric violin .

Functions as musical director

On September 27, 2016, Daniel Hope took up his position as music director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra . Since September 2017 he has also directed the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco (USA).

From 2004 to 2019 Hope was Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival in Savannah, Georgia, USA. Since 2015 he has curated and directed the Lübeck Music Festival as part of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival , which ran under the title Family Pieces until 2017 .

Hope was the artistic director of the Rügen Festival Spring as part of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Festival in 2020, but the Spring Festival was canceled due to the corona pandemic . He then took over the management of the Rügen Festival Spring 2022.

Hope has been the Artistic Director of the Dresden Frauenkirche since 2019 . Its task is to convey the message of the house of God musically. For this he curates almost 50 concerts a year.


Hope conceived and realized a number of musical projects with a wide range of topics, in which he built bridges between different musical styles and artistic worlds:

  • In a project with Klaus Maria Brandauer , the actor read texts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer , supplemented by music for solo violin, played by Daniel Hope. Other collaborations with Brandauer and musicians were a “musical-literary journey to and through the Czech Republic” and Mozart Unplugged , a musical-literary consideration of the relationship between Mozart and two of his friends.
  • The project An audience with Beethoven (2004), a collaboration with Mia Farrow , looks at Beethoven from the perspective of his housekeeper, Mrs. Streicher.
  • In the project East meets West (2004) Hope brought his violin together with Indian instruments ( sitar , tanpura , tabla ) and thus built on the legendary cooperation between Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar .
  • In the World War I commemorative year 2014, he created the War and Pieces project , a collage of music and texts related to the First World War .
  • The project A Distant Drum (2014) was commissioned by Carnegie Hall to mark the 20th anniversary of the overcoming of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Hope's father wrote a libretto for a two-person piece about the fate of Nat Nakasa . Ralf Schmid wrote the music, a combination of classical elements, jazz and South African singing. Jason Marsalis played the drums.

further activities

Hope is the author of four books that have been published by Rowohlt Verlag. His first book Family Pieces (2007), which he wrote with the Berlin author Susanne Schädlich , became a bestseller in Germany. In it he describes the search for his great-grandparents in Berlin. In September 2009 his second book was published, a concert guide entitled When may I clap? . Further books followed in 2011 and 2015 ( see below ). He also wrote columns for the magazines Crescendo (2008–2010, 2013–2014) and Cicero (2010–2014).

Hope got involved in music that was written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp . In 2008 he organized a benefit concert in Berlin under the motto “Tu was!”, Which took place on the 70th anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht in the former Tempelhof Airport , with the participation of artists such as Sol Gabetta , Thomas Quasthoff , Till Brönner , Max Raabe and Klaus Maria Brandauer . A second concert of his “Tu was!” Initiative took place in August 2010 as part of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Festival , this time as a call to action against climate change. In 2013 Hope took part in an event under the motto “A Thousand Voices for Diversity”, which took place in front of the Brandenburg Gate on November 10th . He also supports Live Music Now .

During the Beaux Art Trio's farewell tour in North America in spring 2008, Hope produced an audio blog with background reports on the trio. Other audio contributions he designed were broadcast on Deutschlandfunk and in BBC radio programs. In 2011 he worked for the TV station ZDFkultur as the presenter of a music talk show with the title ... with Hope! . His first guests were Sting and the pianist Hélène Grimaud . In 2014 he was a presenter on the Arte Lounge program . At the radio broadcaster WDR 3 he has been moderating the weekly author program WDR 3 personally with Daniel Hope since 2016 .

Hope has been President of the Beethoven House in Bonn since 2020 . At the beginning of 2020 he was appointed a member of the University Council of the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music in Dresden .

During the COVID-19 pandemic , Hope and Christoph Israel have been playing the Hope @ Home concert series live for the Arte channel on Arte Concert from his Berlin living room since March 2020 . Actors and musicians were often guests. The last of 34 episodes aired on May 3, 2020. The broadcast of the sequel Hope @ Home - on tour! , with concerts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Daniel Hope was married to Annika Pigorsch, who comes from Hamburg and plays double bass with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra . He has been married to the painter Silvana Hope, who comes from Berlin, for the second time since 2014, and has two children with her. The couple lived in Vienna until they moved to Berlin with their then two-year-old first child in early 2016. Hope speaks German with almost no accent.

When asked “What belief do you have?” He replied in an interview: “I am a South African-Irish Catholic with a Protestant as well as a Jewish fusion! The first rabbi of Potsdam belonged to my family on my mother's side . "

In 2018 Hope was the subject of a parodic shred video that the Berlin composer and music critic Arno Lücker published on his YouTube channel. After Hope threatened legal consequences, Lücker deleted the video. As a result, Lücker's event series listen twice at the Konzerthaus Berlin was not extended. The New York Times reported on the incident.

Discography (excerpt)

Chart placements
Explanation of the data
Vivaldi (with Anne Sofie von Otter & Chamber Orchestra of Europe )
  DE 100 10/03/2008 (1 week)
Air - A Baroque Journey
  DE 90 11/20/2009 (1 week)
Recomposed by Max Richter - Vivaldi - The Four Seasons (with André de Ridder & Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin )
  DE 48 05/09/2014 (3 weeks)
  AT 30th 05/09/2014 (1 week)
  CH 86 05/04/2014 (1 week)
Escape to Paradise - The Hollywood Album
  DE 42 09/12/2014 (3 weeks)
My Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin
  DE 43 02/19/2016 (3 weeks)
For seasons
  DE 28 03/10/2017 (3 weeks)
Journey to Mozart (with Zurich Chamber Orchestra )
  DE 31 02/23/2018 (3 weeks)
Belle époque
  DE 17th 02/21/2020 (3 weeks)
Hope @ Home
  DE 77 08/21/2020 (... Template: Infobox chart placements / maintenance / provisional / 2020 where.)


  • 2004: ECHO Klassik , Young Artist of the Year, for "Violin Concertos - Alban Berg, Benjamin Britten"
  • 2005: ECHO Klassik, chamber music recording of the year, for "East meets West"
  • 2006: ECHO Klassik, Instrumentalist of the Year, for "Dmitri Shostakowitsch, Violin Concertos 1 & 2"
  • 2008: ECHO Klassik, concert recording of the year, for Mendelssohn's violin concerto with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe , conductor: Thomas Hengelbrock
  • 2009: ECHO Klassik, concert recording of the year, for "Vivaldi"
  • 2013: ECHO Klassik, "Classics without borders" award together with Max Richter, for "Recomposed by Max Richter"
  • 2015: European Cross of Honor "Pro Arte"
  • 2017: ECHO Klassik, "Classics without borders" award, for "For Seasons"
  • 2017: Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon for his services in the musical creation of a culture of remembrance
  • 2017: " Estrongo Nachama Prize for Tolerance and Civil Courage" from the Berlin Meridian Foundation
  • 2018: Berlin Bear (BZ Culture Prize)


  • 2007: With Susanne Schädlich: Family pieces: a search for traces . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-498-06391-7 .
  • 2009: When can I clap? Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-498-00665-5 .
  • 2011: Toi, toi, toi! Mishaps and disasters in music. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-498-03013-1 .
  • 2015: Sounds of Hollywood - How European émigrés invented American film music . Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-498-03023-0 .


  • 2008: Daniel Hope plays Mendelssohn-Bartholdy , documentary, Sweden (43 min.). Co-production by ZDF / arte and SVT .
  • 2013: Participation in the documentary Refuge in Music about musicians and composers in the Theresienstadt concentration camp . Other contributors: contemporary witnesses Alice Herz-Sommer and Coco Schumann as well as Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano), Christian Gerhaher (baritone) and others. a. Direction and screenplay: Dorothee Binding. Production by Nightfrog GmbH on behalf of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts .
  • 2013: Participation and moderation in the three-part documentary The Business with the Violin . Coproduction by Signed Media and ZDF / arte. Title of the English version: The Secrets of the Violin .
  • 2017: Documentary Daniel Hope - The Sound of Life , Germany (100 min.). Director: Nahuel Lopez . Co-production by tellfilm and NDR / arte. The film portrays Daniel Hope and illuminates his musical and family roots.

Web links

Commons : Daniel Hope  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Daniel Hope: Irish roots 'lifeline' for Proms violinist BBC News, September 9, 2017.
  2. a b Daniel Hope - The Sound of Life Film review on programmkino.de
  3. a b c d e Dear Daniel, that was enchanting article in The Guardian , September 27, 2007.
  4. Eleanor Hope uni-mozarteum.at
  5. a b c Christopher Hope: My son, the violinist. In: The Guardian , August 8, 2009.
  6. a b c d Biography danielhope.com
  7. a b Der Star von der Trave welt.de, July 28, 2018.
  8. Example: Daniel Hope on munzinger.de, April 4, 2017.
  9. Example: Portrait on deutschlandfunkkultur.de, September 22, 2009.
  10. ^ The violinist Daniel Hope zeit.de, November 11, 2009.
  11. Conversation with Daniel Hope in nordbayern.de, March 17, 2011.
  12. Violinist Daniel Hope presents a versatile residency , September 6, 2017, Ruhr Nachrichten
  13. Jasper Hope leaves role as CEO of Dubai Opera gulfbusiness.com, October 14, 2019.
  14. Facebook message from Daniel Hope on December 27, 2019 on the occasion of his 30th stage anniversary.
  15. ^ Facebook message from Daniel Hope on March 7, 2019 on the 20th anniversary of Menuhin's last concert.
  16. ^ Daniel Hope at the German Parliament danielhope.com, March 3, 2010.
  17. These siblings bring pictures to life - and now they are measuring themselves against Hollywood greats nzz.ch, October 18, 2019.
  18. a b Daniel Hope: The baroque violin that led me . In: Cicero , October 15, 2011.
  19. Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, c. 1742, the 'Lipinski' tarisio.com
  20. a b c Daniel Hope: “After a day in Berlin I was really a Berliner” bz-berlin.de, April 12, 2020.
  21. ^ Julia Spinola: A homecoming to Zurich. In: NZZ , September 10, 2016, p. 26
  22. About us website of the New Century Chamber Orchestra
  23. Daniel Hope Steps Down at Savannah Music Festival stringsmagazine.com, March 5, 2019.
  24. The Lübeck Music Festival with Daniel Hope shmf.de
  25. ^ Artistic director Daniel Hope brings top-class artists to the island of Rügen. Press release of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Festival, 2020.
  26. Armida Quartett is in charge of the Rügen Festival Spring 2021 - Daniel Hope will be in charge of 2022, press release of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, 2020.
  27. Artistic Director of the Festival Spring Rügen 2022: Daniel Hope Greetings from Daniel Hope on YouTube, March 2020 (1:07 min.).
  28. ^ Artistic Director Daniel Hope. Frauenkirche Dresden Foundation, accessed on January 9, 2020 .
  29. Hope and Brandauer danielhope.com
  30. An audience with Beethoven danielhope.com
  31. ^ Indian ragas and works of European classical music deutschlandfunk.de, February 6, 2005.
  32. War and Pieces danielhope.com
  33. Ralf Schmid & Daniel Hope: A Distant Drum greenbeltofsound.de, October 4, 2014.
  34. A Distant Drum danielhope.com, October 17, 2014.
  35. ^ Crescendo columns and Cicero columns on Daniel Hope's website.
  36. Music from Theresienstadt danielhope.com, November 3rd of 2009.
  37. Classical stars take action against forgetting welt.de, October 28, 2008.
  38. Thomas Quasthoff is committed to climate protection deutschegrammophon.com, August 11, 2010
  39. Daniel Hope's "Tu was!" Project on climate change danielhope.com, September 15, 2010.
  40. A thousand votes for diversity - Daniel Hope at the Brandenburg Gate 2013 klassikakzente.de
  41. We thank you for thousands of votes against forgetting our diversity.de
  42. Live Music Now - A music charity supported by Daniel danielhope.com
  43. Daniel's radio shows danielhope.com
  44. Sting and pianist Hélène Grimaud on "... with Hope!": Music talk show with violinist Daniel Hope on ZDFkultur presseportal.de, May 17, 2011.
  45. Arte Lounge with Daniel Hope klassikakzente.de
  46. Star violinist Daniel Hope continues to moderate at WDR 3 radioszene.de, January 5, 2017.
  47. WDR 3 in person with Daniel Hope wdr.de
  48. Press release from the Carl Maria von Weber University of Music Dresden, December 23, 2019 ( PDF ).
  49. Daniel Hope is in love with "The Four Seasons" suedkurier.de, June 21, 2017.
  50. Star violinist Daniel Hope is now Berliner sueddeutsche.de, January 27, 2016.
  51. Martina Helmig: The incredible Mister Hope festspielhaus.de, 2019.
  52. Berliner Konzerthaus defends measure against moderator Arno Lücker klassikinfo.de, January 16, 2018.
  53. Can Classical Music Take a Joke? A violinist is shredded. Retrieved July 10, 2019 .
  54. Chart sources: Germany - Austria - Switzerland
  55. a b c d e f g Prize winners on the ECHO Klassik website, search results for Daniel Hope
  56. Star violinist and WDR 3 presenter Daniel Hope honored with the Federal Cross of Merit. WDR, October 11, 2017, accessed on October 11, 2017 .
  57. Daniel Hope receives the Estrongo Nachama Prize for Civil Courage and Tolerance 2017. In: meridian-stiftung.de. Meridian Foundation, accessed May 3, 2018 .
  58. Daniel Hope plays Mendelssohn-Bartholdy inpetto-filmproduktion.de
  59. Refuge in Music - Theresienstadt website for the film, with trailer ,
  60. ^ The business with the violin (2013), description at musik-heute.de: Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3
  61. The Secrets of the Violin (2013), description at medici.tv: Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3
  62. The Secrets of the Violin on YouTube (59:51 min.)
  63. Daniel Hope - The Sound of Life mindjazz-pictures.de