New Century Chamber Orchestra is celebrating its 25th season this year, and at the end of the season, Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg will be stepping down as music director. In order to help keep creative continuity and allow the search committee enough time to find a replacement, the ensemble has announced that Daniel Hope will be ‘artistic partner’ for the next three seasons, playing with them for several of their concert series.

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

“It was very clear to us that this was going to be a multi-year search,” explained Executive Director Philip Wilder. “That it was going to take a lot of time, that we wanted to date heavily before we got married… But we are in a different place now as an organization, and we didn’t really want to lose the artistic momentum that Nadja has provided for us over the last… better part of a decade.” So they’re following a model that a few other ensembles have found to work well. “The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and also the Australian Chamber Orchestra were particularly helpful in this. And they have been having artistic partners with major artists who have come and gone over the last decade or so for both of them, which seemed like a really exciting model for us, is to try to find the right sort of fit with an artist who could come now and work with us while we go through this search process.” Daniel Hope, for his part, says the experience working with New Century earlier this year made the invitation easy to accept. “When I arrived here in January, the first rehearsal, the first minutes that I shared with my colleagues, I noticed an incredible energy that came right back at me. And it was a beautiful week of making music together. It was like chamber music, but on a grand scale. From that moment, that feeling of collegiality in music hasn’t left me.”