Daniel Hope - der Stargeiger im Interview mit dem Dresden Magazin

Interview with Daniel Hope "If it were up to me, every year would be Beethoven Year"

S tar violinist, producer, presenter, author and musical activist – Daniel Hope is a man of many talents. He started playing the violin at the age of four and has been giving concerts all over the world for the past 30 years. Last year, he took up a permanent position in Dresden.

05. February 2020

As Artistic Director of the Dresden Frauenkirche, Daniel Hope is responsible for the musical message conveyed by the church – he is curating 36 events this year, some of which he will be performing in himself.

In this interview, Daniel Hope tells us what concerts he has planned for Dresden in 2020, what the Beethoven Year means to him, and what his new Belle Époque album sounds like.

Mr Hope, you are Artistic Director of the Frauenkirche – the first person to have been appointed to this position. The theme of the 2019 season was ‘Transformation’. What will the music year 2020 bring?

“Following on from the ‘Transformation’ of 2019, it was my ambition to once again offer our audience a broad musical spectrum of the very highest quality. We will, of course, be paying tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven who was born 250 years ago. That is why I planned my opening concert on 10th January with Lynn Harrell, Maxim Lando and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra around this anniversary.

A second important thread is internationalism. The concerts featuring the Cape Town Opera Chorus and the King’s Singers as well as our major intercultural project Israel in Egypt facilitate encounters with other countries and cultures. On another level, we are reflecting on our roots and traditions, for example with the concerts that Ludwig Güttler is organising and our Vom Lied zum Song programme in May. Also part of this is my concert Fin de siècle/Belle Époque with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in which we embark on a quest in search of lost time.”

As you have already mentioned, 2020 is the Beethoven anniversary year. What does this mean for you, both professionally and privately?

“If it were up to me, every year would be Beethoven year. Nevertheless, I’m glad that 2020 will give the world a fantastic all-round view of this musical titan. For me personally, this is the year in which I will have the honour and responsibility of taking up office as President of the Beethovenhaus Bonn. That is due to happen in February. To a certain extent, I will be following in the footsteps of my predecessor, Kurt Masur, with whom I had the honour of playing and discussing Beethoven. Furthermore, the very first president of the Beethovenhaus was the violinist, teacher and musical whirlwind Joseph Joachim, whom I revere and whose legacy I have been researching intensively for the past twenty years.”

Christian Thielemann continues as Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, while Marek Janowski has taken over at the Dresden Philharmonic. The Dresden Sinfoniker are considered to be one of the leading chamber music ensembles. What makes Dresden such an attractive destination for lovers of classical music?

“Dresden’s artistic and cultural history is unique. The list of composers who have lived and created great works here is extensive. The Dresden Hofkapelle was a force in the music world of its time. All the genius and effort that has gone in over the centuries has prepared the way for the rest of us, even hundreds of years later.”

You are a cosmopolitan and politically active individual. For example, you are prominent in the anti-racist Tu was campaign. You are outspoken against anti-Semitism and have been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for your services to the cause of remembrance. Is Dresden a symbolic place for you in this respect?

“Dresden is indeed a highly symbolic place, especially on account of the Frauenkirche, which has been rebuilt as a monument to peace. I am very happy to be permitted to play music in this church, as it refutes religious division and instead welcomes people of all faiths and none.”

Your last album was called A Journey to Mozart. Deutsche Grammophon will be releasing your new album on 7th February. Where is the journey taking us this time?

“The new album is called Belle Époque and is my biggest recording project to date. It is a double album with chamber music and orchestral works, reflecting the musical diversity of the period between 1871 and 1914. The album will be accompanied by a major tour of Germany, during which we will be performing on 29th May 2020 in the Frauenkirche as part of the Dresden Music Festival programme.”

Daniel Hope was born in South Africa in 1973. His family subsequently moved to Paris and then London where he lived for many years. It was also here that he met his later friend and mentor Yehudi Menuhin, who inspired and encouraged him to learn the violin. Hope studied at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was taught by the well-known violin teacher Zakhar Bron.

The star violinist regularly performs in major concert halls such as the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, London’s Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York. His discography of more than 25 recordings has won him various accolades, including the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, 7 ECHO Klassik Awards and numerous Grammy nominations.

Since 2016, he has hosted his own weekly show Daniel Hope persönlich on regional broadcaster WDR3. He has published four books and has been involved in social projects and campaigns against anti-Semitism over the years. His constant companion is his violin, the 1742 Guarneri del Gesù known as the ‘Ex-Lipinski’.

Daniel Hope has lived in Berlin with his wife and son since 2016.

> Tourdates 2020


Daniel Hope in Dresden:


25 April 2020 Daniel Hope & Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin – Frauenkirche, Dresden

29 May 2020 Daniel Hope & Zürcher Kammerorchester – Frauenkirche, Dresden

06 June 2020 Daniel Hope: Air – A Baroque Journey – Frauenkirche, Dresden