New Century celebrates Menuhin at 100

San Francisco Chronicle

Violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin cut a musical swath across the entire world, but it was San Francisco that first nurtured the artistic aspirations of the 7-year-old prodigy. So there was a special aptness to Saturday’s fine centennial tribute by Daniel Hope and the New Century Chamber Orchestra, which took place in Herbst Theatre.

The connection was not only geographical, but personal as well. Hope, the prolific British violinist, grew up under Menuhin’s wing — his mother, as he related during remarks from the stage, spent her career as Menuhin’s personal secretary — and is perhaps uniquely situated to celebrate the life and musical legacy of this remarkable figure.

Saturday’s program offered a broad and mostly inviting array of music associated with Menuhin’s career. The repertoire, most of which can be heard on Hope’s heartfelt new Deutsche Grammophon release, included concertos by Bach, Vivaldi and Mendelssohn that had been at the center of the performer’s repertoire, as well as more recent works composed in his honor or his memory.

The orchestra finds itself at a critical juncture, with the news that Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg will be stepping down at the end of next season after a highly successful tenure as music director. If Hope’s appearance was in the nature of a job audition, he gave every indication of being a likely candidate to succeed her. 

Read the rest of the review here