Appointed in 2018 as Music Director and Concertmaster of San Francisco’s New Century Chamber Orchestra (NCCO), one of the world’s few conductorless ensembles, Hope begins his U.S. season leading the ensemble in four Bay Area concerts at the first “California Festival: A Celebration of New Music.”

Featuring mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and an eight-voice chorus, their candlelit “Visitations” program features the world premiere of a new NCCO commission from Nicolás Lell Benavides, along with works by Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Dukas, Villa-Lobos, and others (Nov 2–5). Next, the NCCO’s mostly Baroque “Christmas Ornaments” program features trumpeter Lucienne Renaudin Vary and English hornist Jesse Barrett in music of Bach, Corelli, Neruda and Copland (Dec 15–17).

In the spring, Hope and the orchestra are joined by American cellist Sterling Elliott for March performances of Haydn’s First Cello Concerto, on a program with Stravinsky’s neoclassical ballet suite Pulcinella (March 8–10); and their final set of concerts in May features pianist Awadagin Pratt and music of Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, David Diamond, Florence Price and Leonard Bernstein (May 2–4). Also in the spring, Hope revisits music from his 2020 album Belle Époque, recorded with pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips. He reunites with the pianist in St. Paul, Minnesota’s Schubert Club International Artist Series (April 25 & 26) and at San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, where their program also includes the U.S. premiere of Fantasy Suite 1803 by Jake Heggie (April 30).