Violinist Daniel Hope has decided to celebrate Mozart’s birthday with the New Century Chamber Orchestra and two (other) soloists: Menahem Pressler, and Sebastian Knauer. They’ll play the Piano Concerto no. 23, on a program that includes the 29th Symphony, and Hope playing the third Violin Concerto. They’ll give four Bay Area performances (Pressler will play on the birthday itself, on the 27th at Herbst Theatre.)

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

“It was my dream to have Menahem Pressler come and perform with us,” Hope says. “We played eight years together in the Beaux Arts Trio; it was one of the most important times musically in my life. And even though he’s just turned 94, he’s playing this week also with the Los Angeles Chamber orchestra as well, so we could only get him for one performance.” But his association with Knauer goes back even farther. “I’ve now been playing with for over 20 years, and particularly Mozart, so the idea was to share it between these two wonderful musicians. And then I looked around at the world of Mozart, and New Century has not done, as far as I know, any Mozart symphonies before.” The one he chose to play (with added winds and horn parts to the usually strings-only ensemble) is the A Major Symphony number 29. “…One of the most perfect works, I think, of music ever composed.  It’s just pure perfection. And to dive into it in such detail again reminds one again of what a miracle Mozart’s music is.” And if those two works weren’t enough, Hope also gets to play his favorite of the five violin concertos. “It has, for me, the most beautiful slow movement of any of the concertos, it’s pure magic. The great Mozart expert, Alfred Einstein, said that this piece is wondrous. One realizes that Mozart was a wonder.”

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