Violinist Daniel Hope makes his first appearances with New Century Chamber Orchestra since it was announced that he would be their Artistic Partner for three years, as they look for a Music Director to replace Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. In four concerts called ‘New Horizons,’ they’ll play two works from the heart of the repertory, and two contemporary pieces, one of them commissioned for this program.

There’s more information about the concerts at the New Century Chamber Orchestra website.

Hope had acted as guest concertmaster before for concerts with the group before Salerno-Sonnenberg’s departure, and found a musical kinship with the players. “I’m just very very excited to be back with New Century, and to be launching this partnership. And I think ‘partner’ is really the best way to describe it. It’s a way to make music with these musicians that I so respect, and to forge new paths.” The responsibilities give him freedom for programming, but more administrative concerns than just being a visiting soloist. “Artistically, you’re free to do whatever you want, but at the same time you have to keep an eye on the structures, and on a budget and on things like that. So it’s always a question of compromise, and a question of experiment, but the team here is so open, and so willing to go that distance, that it’s a dream come true, really.” For their initial program, they’ll be combining the familiar with the new: Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn masterworks, and a pair of recent works, including a violin concerto by Alan Fletcher (who’s in charge of the Aspen Music Festival) written expressly for this set of concerts. “He’s a composer that I’ve admired for many many years, and I’m a regular visitor to the Aspen Festival, and I was just thrilled that he was willing to write a piece for us. Because we’re conductorless, that always throws in an extra bit of spice into the package. We all have to know the piece extremely well, because there isn’t somebody always giving those downbeats and those signals. The musicians are doing it themselves, they’re feeling it themselves. So it means we really have to inhale the music and find ourselves in it.”