Harvey Hope – an exceptional artist. What will we hear during the festival?

A London gentleman, tireless researcher, jazzman and an authority figure in the field of baroque guitar music. Harvey Hope, as he is the artist in question, was certainly one of the most original figures in the world of the guitar at the turn of the 20th century. A self-taught guitarist, lutherie enthusiast, collector and publicist. He impressed with his inquisitiveness, meticulousness and reliability in his research. In addition to his many artistic endeavours, he also composed music.

The character of works which will be performed during the Silesian Guitar Autumn does not resemble baroque music. Their unusual melodiousness, contrasts, dramatic nature, or even the ecstasy expressed in them, as well as sensitivity to the timbre of the instrument are certainly a reflection of the period in Hope’s artistic life when he concentrated on jazz and theatre. At the beginning of his career, he was involved in various projects related to cabaret, musical and theatre. He acquainted himself with the world repertoire of this genre by participating in several productions, such as “Chorus Line”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Hello Dolly” or “Cotton Club”. Hope was also engaged in music arrangement and orchestration. He wrote for the BBC Radio Orchestra, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Ballet. He composed music for several films and theatre productions, he also occasionally played the guitar with the BBC Orchestra, the London Concert Orchestra, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

“Harvey Hope – All Things Unfinished” will be performed on Thursday evening at Mediateka in Tychy. It will be a unique musical tribute to the composer, who passed away in 2014, which will be made by prominent Polish artists: the guitarist Jakub Kościuszko and maestro Szymon Morus, who will lead the Radom Chamber Orchestra. We will hear the compositions reconstructed by Jakub Zwarycz, Leszek Kołodziejski and Jakub Kościuszko, which premiered on the album “Music of Harvey Hope” (small great music, 2022), among others: “De Madrugada”, a piece which is a pointed musical joke referring to Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez”, or a rhapsodic “Fantasie for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra op. 55”, which shows the extraordinary imagination of the author and his ability to create musical landscapes.

Hope was constantly absorbed by the many projects he started. Eight years ago, he passed away leaving behind several ones which still needed to be completed. Books and records were waiting to be released, and music awaited performers. Fortunately, thanks to Dorota Naruk, the ambassador of Harvey Hope’s work, it was possible to save some of his oeuvre from oblivion.

The charismatic personality of the English composer, the stories and the knowledge, which he shared during his recitals, captivated the audience, whether it was of an intimate auditorium or great concert halls, which were filled to the brim. We hope that the invited artists and the music of Harvey Hope will appeal to the audience in Tychy.