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Violinist Daniel Hope and Zurich Orchestra Dazzle

Violinist Daniel Hope and Zurich Orchestra Dazzle

Violinist Daniel Hope and Zurich Orchestra Dazzle


Daniel Hope performs in Elfers Hall with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.

Contributing Writer

April 13, 2023

Yobin Kim '26

Daniel Hope, an acclaimed violinist and conductor from Europe, and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra appeared on the stage of Katherine M. Elfers Hall on March 29. The program featured The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams, Violin Concerto in D Minor by Felix Mendelssohn, Silent Music for String Orchestra by Valentin Silvestrov, and Serenade for Strings, op. 48 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Hope performed as a soloist and as the conductor of the orchestra. Hope has performed worldwide in solo recitals and chamber concerts for over 30 years. He has held concerts in Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and numerous other concert halls across the globe.

Hope is one of the most prolific classical recording artists today, with over 30 albums to his name, while also directing ensembles, including the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra.

The Zurich Chamber Orchestra, based in Switzerland, was founded in 1945 by Edmond de Stoutz. It is famous for the wide range of its repertoire, which combines classical and contemporary music.

The concert began with The Lark Ascending. The orchestra started off quietly, and Daniel Hope entered with a very soft, long solo. Hope and other members of the orchestra coordinated with each other by exchanging eye contact, synchronized bowings, and other methods of communication to perform the composition in sync.

With an abrupt change in tone, the performance moved into the second piece, Violin Concerto in D Minor, composed by Felix Mendelssohn, a German conductor, and composer of the Romantic period. This piece is a lesser-known concerto in comparison with the more popular Violin Concerto in E minor. Unlike the first piece, the first movement of this concerto was bright and active. In the second movement, the piece gradually became more solemn, creating a contrast with the third movement, which was almost frantic in its tone. This composition represents a typical Romantic concerto with three movements – a fast movement in Sonata form, a slow and lyrical movement, and another rapid movement.

Gradually entering with a rich piano sound, the third piece, Silent Music for String Orchestra, composed by Valentin Silvestrov, a Ukrainian composer and pianist, displayed techniques that were unseen in the previous two pieces, such as pizzicato, a playing technique that involves plucking the strings, and legato, a bowing technique that allows musicians to play smoothly.

The fourth and final piece was Serenade for Strings, composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a Russian composer of the Romantic period. The atmosphere created by this composition stood out from the other compositions, as performers exchanged smiles, demonstrating their enjoyment of the performance.

Reflecting on Hope and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra’s performance, Mr. Fabio Witkowski, head of the visual and performing arts department, said, “The concert far exceeded my expectations. The way they played together – having so much fun and producing such amazing music – was truly inspiring. Their sound was one of the most beautiful, controlled, and pure sounds I ever heard in Elfers Hall.”

“It was also extremely wonderful to realize how inspired students were by this concert. We had such an enthusiastic audience – I loved seeing students interacting with the musicians afterwards, greeting them, asking for autographs, and taking pictures. It was a very special night,” Mr. Witkowski added. Daniel Hope and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra will be taking the stage next at Frauenkirche, Germany on April 28.

Yobin Kim is a contributing writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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