Published on 10th August 2019 by

Daniel Hope is one of the most sought-after violinists of our time. This very personal portrait looks at his career and the history of his family, who came to London from Berlin via South Africa – and at what drives him as a musician.

Daniel Hope, music director of the renowned Zurich Chamber Orchestra, was born in 1973 in Durban, South Africa. As a writer critical of the apartheid regime there, his father was under constant surveillance, the family’s telephones were tapped and their letters confiscated. In 1975, Eleanor and Christopher Hope migrated to London with their two sons. Eleanor’s German-Irish roots helped, but the first months in exile seemed hopeless – until Eleanor got a job as secretary to Yehudi Menuhin, arguably the most famous violinist of the 20th Century. Daniel accompanied his mother to work every day, and the Menuhin villa quickly became his second home. All the greats of classical music visited Menuhin during these years, which also saw the beginnings of Daniel’s fascination with the violin: Menuhin later accepted him into his music academy. Daniel’s encounter with the pianist Menahem Pressler was another formative experience. In 2002, Pressler offered the young violinist a place in his Beaux Arts Trio, a world-renowned chamber music ensemble. When the trio split up in 2008, Daniel Hope struck out in a solo career. The documentary shows how tirelessly he works, not only as a musician, but also in exploring his extensive family history. In addition to Daniel Hope himself, we also talk to his parents and colleagues such as his teacher Zakhar Bron and mentor Menahem Pressler.


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