The 2019 Savannah Music Festival will be the 16th and final season for violinist Daniel Hope as associate artistic director, according to a press release.
For the 2020 season, he will be succeeded by violist/conductor Philip Dukes, who will serve as SMF artistic advisor (chamber music).
Due to his current music director posts at the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra, an artistic directorship of the Frauenkirche Cathedral in Dresden and a worldwide touring schedule, Hope has decided to reduce the amount of international travel time to which he is obligated.
“Giving up making music every year for Savannah audiences is not something I do lightly,” Hope said in the release. “It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to be a part of the SMF. Working with the entire team for almost 16 years has inspired me to new heights. Having said that, we intend to make the 30th anniversary season the best it has ever been, and with the appointment of my great friend and longtime collaborator Philip Dukes as artistic advisor for 2020, SMF audiences can rest assured that chamber music programming will continue in the same collaborative spirit which we have enjoyed so successfully.”
Chamber music offerings at the 2019 festival end a deeply personal program for Hope. On closing day, his father, the acclaimed novelist Christopher Hope, reads from his BBC essay “My Son the Fiddler” with his son accompanying him in works for solo violin.
Hope’s 2019 season at SMF begins with a performance of Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto alongside David Finckel and Wu Han with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, followed by a piano quartet program featuring works by Suk, Brahms and Dvorak with Finckel, Han and Paul Neubauer.
In addition to programming and performing in the chamber music series in Savannah, Hope has also played alongside dozens of renowned artists at SMF, including Pinchas Zukerman, Jaime Laredo, the Emerson, Ebène, Danish and Dover String Quartets, Mia Farrow, Jeffrey Kahane, Anne Sofie von Otter, Menahem Pressler, Michael Schade, Stewart Copeland, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer and many others.
Dukes, lauded by The Times of London as “Great Britain’s most outstanding viola player,” has been a regular participant in SMF chamber music programs since 2004. He has conducted numerous chamber orchestra programs in Savannah, and has appeared with all of the UK’s leading orchestras.
Also a seasoned programmer, Dukes is a professor of viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and artistic director of Marlborough College (UK). For more information at philipdukes.com.
The 2019 Savannah Music Festival runs from March 28 to April 13 in various locations in Savannah’s Historic District. You can read more about the festival in the coming weeks at dosavannah.com/savannahmusicfest.