Daniel Hope Steps Down at Savannah Music Festival

By Megan Westberg

Violinist Daniel Hope is a busy man. He’s the music director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco, artistic director of Frauenkirche Cathedral in Dresden, and a soloist with an international touring schedule as well. So after 16 years of also serving as the associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival (SMF), Hope has decided to hand the reins to violist and conductor Philip Dukes, who will assume the title of SMF artistic advisor (chamber music) in 2020.

Philip Dukes


2019 marks the festivals 30th anniversary season, which will run from March 28 to April 13. Hope will open the season with a performance of the Beethoven Triple, along with cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra directed by Robert Spano. Hope’s involvement with SMF will come to a close with a personal program, during which he will play accompanying solo repertoire while his novelist father, Christopher Hope, reads from his BBC essay “My Son the Fiddler.”

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to be a part of the SMF,” Hope said in a statement. “Working with the entire team for almost 16 years has inspired me to new heights.”

His successor, Dukes, has been been involved in SMF chamber-music offerings as a violist and conductor since 2004, and is professor of viola at the Royal Academy of Music in London and artistic director of Marlborough College in the UK.