Virtuoso violinist Daniel Hope gives his first concert in Bulgaria

The opera prima Alexandrina Pendatchanska will add a touch of glamour to the evening

Daniel Hope

A star-studded lineup of soloists is set to appear in a 15 April concert of the Sofia Philharmonic. World-renowned violinist Daniel Hope, whose Europe@Home concerts during the lockdown have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of classical music lovers, will play Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto. Opera star Alexandrina Pendatchanska is performing the final scene of Richard Strauss's opera Salome. The programme will also include the national orchestra's performance of a fragment of Richard Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde. The event's conductor will be Grigor Palikarov.

Hailed as a virtuoso soloist with musical versatility and celebrated for his dedication to humanitarian causes, violinist Daniel Hope has been touring the globe for 30 years. Winner of the 2015 European Cultural Prize for Music, whose previous recipients include Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Daniel Hope appears as soloist with the world's major orchestras and conductors and leads a number of violin ensembles. At the start of the 2016/17 season, Hope became the music director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. He has also been the music director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco since the 2018/19 season. In 2019 he became the artistic director of the Frauenkirche Cathedral in Dresden. Since 2020 he has been serving as the president of the Beethovenhaus Bonn, an honorary position.

Daniel Hope was raised in London, where he studied violin at Highgate School and the Royal Academy of Music. He is one of the world's most prolific classical recording artists, with over 25 albums to his name. His recordings have won the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, the Diapason d'Or of the Year, the Edison Classical Award, the Prix Caecilia, the ECHO-Klassik Award and numerous Grammy nominations. He has also authored four bestsellers published in Germany. He contributes regularly to the Wall Street Journal and has written scripts for joint performances with actors such as Klaus Maria Brandauer and Mia Farrow. In Germany, he hosts a weekly radio show for the WDR3 Channel and has Hope@9pm, a music and talk show with guests from the entertainment industry and politics that he hosts at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Daniel Hope plays 1742 Guarneri del Gesù, placed generously in his care by an anonymous family from Germany.

Alexandrina Pendatchanska was born to a family of prominent Bulgarian musicians. At the age of five, she started studying the piano at the National Music School in Sofia, where her specialties were piano and singing. Her vocal coach was her mother, renowned soprano Valerie Popova. At 17, she had her first appearance before an audience as a singer - with Violetta's aria from La Traviata, presented by Ghena Dimitrova at a gala concert in Sofia. At 19, she made her opera debut, in Bilbao, as Lucia in Gaetano Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor. By that time she had won the grand prix awards at the Antonin Dvorak (Karlovy Vary) and Unisa (Pretoria) opera competitions and placed second at the Bilbao singing competition.

Alexandrina Pendatchanska's wide vocal range allows for an expansive repertoire of 70 roles - from pre-classical to 20th century music, from bel canto and Verdi to Beethoven and Wagner, from coloratura soprano to mezzosoprano.

Since 2003, Alexandrina Pendatchanska has had a fruitful musical partnership with conductor René Jacobs. In their highly regarded recordings of Mozart's operas for the Harmonia Mundi record label, Pendatchanska's portrayals of Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Elektra (Idomeneo) and Arminda (La finta giardiniera) are held up as a gold standard and have earned her numerous honours, including BBC Music Magazine Award, Gramophone's Editor Choice, and three Grammy nominations - two for best classical album and one for best opera recording.

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