Reviews

Violinist Chad Hoopes isn't your average teenager
He's only 16 years old, so we're going to poke a little fun at his senior moment.

"This past weekend, where was I?" asks the much-lauded violinist Chad Hoopes, talking on the phone last week from Salt Lake City. "Oh my gosh, how can I be forgetting this? Let's see, last night I did a concert for Robert Redford. Before that ... oh ... I was in Allentown, Pennsylvania, playing Tchaikovsky."

Not all high school sophomores need a smartphone to keep track of their weekly travel schedule. But Hoopes isn't a regular teenager by a longshot.

After winning first prize in the young arts division at the prestigious Menuhin Competition in Cardiff, Wales, in 2008, Hoopes got snatched up by musical powerhouse talent agency IMG, which represents Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell. From then on it's been a steadily climbing career trajectory taking him to the great performance halls of the U.S. and Europe — and whispers about greatness to come.

The nice thing, says Theodore Kuchar, the Fresno (Calif.) Philharmonic's musical director, is that Hoopes has remained a "regular" teenager — albeit one who travels most weekends.

"I'm very happy that he's come out of all this as a balanced, normal kid," the conductor says.

Kuchar has known Hoopes since before the violinist competed at Menuhin. The two met in Cleveland, where Hoopes was preparing to play with the Cleveland Orchestra. Kuchar remembers hearing him play for the first time.

"There I was watching a 12-year-old kid doing what most professionals three times his age aren't able to do," he says. "You don't often find early adolescents who have the musical maturity of a seasoned artist."

In the intervening years, Kuchar has worked several times with Hoopes, including in a mentoring capacity.

Several weeks ago, Hoopes played the concerto with the Des Moines Symphony, garnering a rave review from the Des Moines Register.....
STLToday.com
Chad Hoopes Dazzles in Fresno Debut
The Fresno Philharmonic has presented a number of sensational young musicians over the last few years, and they never disappoint. Maybe one doesn’t expect a lot, or maybe the energy and freshness of youth comes across so well that old music feels new. Whatever the case, 16-year-old violinist Chad Hoopes dazzled the audience at Saroyan Theatre Saturday with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Theodore Kuchar conducting.

The all-Tchaikovsky concert began with a work that the composer tried to destroy after receiving harsh criticism titled Fatum. Under the baton of Maestro Kuchar, the music unfolded very crisply, and the orchestra locked into the score. One can find several elements to criticize about the score but not the performance. Something clicked on this evening and the musicians sounded at the top of their game.

Chad Hoopes appeared on the stage, dropped his towel on the conductor’s riser, and signaled that he was ready. Kuchar lit up the orchestra, and the audience collectively moved to the edge of its seat as Hoopes closed his eyes and swayed to the beat, gathering his forces and feeling the rhythm...
Music Critic Fresno
Symphony Review: 16-year-old's solo dazzles audience
Let's hope Des Moines Symphony conductor Joseph Giunta is having a good time in Rio this week with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, because he missed a heck of a concert with the home team Saturday night at the Civic Center.

The globe-trotting young conductor Mischa Santora, music director for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, took the podium in his place and coaxed an unusually focused performance from the musicians in well-known works by Tchaikovsky and Ravel.

The night's biggest crowd-pleaser was Tchaikovsky's demanding Violin Concerto in D Major, with brilliant solo work from the barely 16-year-old "From the Top" star, Eagle Scout and all-around wunderkind Chad Hoopes. He grew up in the Twin Cities, where he started lessons at the age of 4, and now spends his days jetting around to concerts throughout the United States and Europe. His performance here showed why.
DesMoinesRegister.com - Des Moines Symphony Review (October 2010)
Sensational 15-year-old Violinist Chad Hoopes makes local debut
...Indeed, with the added visual spectacle of obligatory fireworks, this ear-popping “1812 Overture” provided as exciting and uplifting a conclusion to the all-Tchaikovsky finale of the Summer Pops season as anyone could imagine.

But wait—this is not the whole story by a long shot. Earlier in the concert we were amazed by the talent of 15-year-old violin prodigy Chad Hoopes, making his local debut in the first movement of the Violin Concerto. And throughout the program, the orchestra itself displayed the panache and polish of troops readied for presidential inspection. I cannot recall a more musically satisfying Summer Pops final concert—and the orchestra has been playing these all-Tchaikovsky marathons as Summer Pops closers for decades, since they started these summer seasons on that barren, windswept point on Mission Bay in the early days of former Music Director David Atherton....
SanDiego.com
Teen violinist wows crowd
A little bit contemporary, a little bit Classical and more than a little Romantic, the last set by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra jolted listeners Saturday at the Civic Center Theater.

Part of the reason was 15-year-old violin virtuoso Chad Hoopes, who dazzled the audience with his powerful technique and expressive power...

...Next up was a piece from the Classical era - Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5, featuring Hoopes, whose technique, focus and expressiveness suggest something like genius. His playing was remarkably fluid, at one point alternating between abrupt chords and ornate flourishes, and at another providing his own accompaniment in a solo passage. Hoopes has a wonderful way of wringing every bit of expressive potential from a musical line - in this way, reminding a listener of violin greats like Itzhak Perlman and others...
PJstar,com
Robert Redford narrates, teens star at Festival del Sole
Take the most popular classical work of all time and perform it in the courtyard of a medieval-style castle cum winery.

Then throw in a 14-year-old violinist with hands of steel and, just to gild the lily, a Hollywood legend — the ever-boyish 72-year-old actor and filmmaker Robert Redford — to narrate the work.

That was the quadruple threat presented by the Napa Valley Festival del Sole Tuesday night during a sold-out performance of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," performed at the Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga midway through the arts festival's nine-day run.

"It's like nothing else we'll do all year," said Claudia Craig of Santa Rosa, who was attending the concert with her husband, Steve. "Vivaldi outdoors — that sounded wonderful."

The concert showcased young violinist Chad Hoopes performing the solo part with an inspiring blend of emotional expression, technical ease and engaging showmanship way beyond his years.

Although he looks more like a baseball catcher than a violinist, the chubby-cheeked Hoopes proved his mettle in all 12 movements, turning on a dime to execute the work's dramatic dynamics and radical mood changes.

His sweet tone and vibrato are reminiscent of veteran violinist Itzak Perlman, while his technical chops conjure the steely perfection of the young virtuoso Hilary Hahn. And his expression is deep and heartfelt, recalling yet another violinist who performed at the festival last year.

"We went to the Charleston Spoleto Festival many years ago, and we saw Joshua Bell when he was about 19," said Donna Petre of Davis. "This kid reminds me of a young Joshua Bell."...
www.pressdemocrat.com
Pops holiday concert inspire, delights
The Pittsburgh Symphony Pops has tried a variety of themes in its annual holiday programs over the years. But the orchestra returned to what it does best on Wednesday night in Heinz Hall -- making music.

Nobody does it better in this city, even when the program has a lighter side, and this "Holiday Memories" was one welcome bag of musical tricks and treats.

Many of the faces were familiar, like the Mendelssohn Choir, expertly rehearsed by Betsy Burleigh and in particularly good voice for a "Feast of Carols," and its junior counterpart, Christine Jordanoff's Children's Festival Chorus -- as easy on the eyes with their radiant faces as they were on the ears in songs like "Infant Holy" and "Somewhere in My Memory," although there were as yet a few wrinkles in the connection with conductor Daniel Meyer...

...Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening came from 14-year-old Cleveland violinist Chad Hoopes, who swept through the third movement of the Bruch violin concerto with accuracy and panache. The Bruch might not have been connected to the holiday season, but the young Steelers fan was the total musical package.

Paced well and relying on a sparkling array of seasonal music, this concert gave off a warm and fuzzy glow without being cloying. And with a jovial Santa Claus making his appearance to gather some Christmas wishes (for the record, Wii was the hands-down favorite), it was more than enough to bring a smile to both the kids and kids-at-heart in the audience.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Shaker teen earns title of best young violinist in the world
SHAKER HEIGHTS -- A 13-year-old from Shaker Heights is the best violinist in the world after winning an international competition.

You may have seen him in a commercial for the Cleveland Indians on Sportstime Ohio. He's the guy working out on a violin, in front of baseball action clips.

The violinist is 13-year-old Chad Hoopes, a seventh grader at Shaker Middle School.

He's also the junior winner of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Wales.

Last spring he frankly outplayed the best in his agegroup from China, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Poland, Taiwan, Canada, and Norway.

"Most of the kids are nice about it at my school," said the outgoing prodigy,"but some just don't understand the commitment that it takes."

He started playing at age four, after watching his talented sisters who also play strings.

Now he practices five hours a day while fitting in regular public school work. And, he'll listen to some hip hop now and then.

To see all the competition performances of Chad Hoopes, log onto:

www.menuhincompetition.org/menuhin.rwcmd.ac.uk/watch_again/

© 2011 WKYC-TV
WKYC
Menuhin Competition
A MINOR miracle occurred here when the junior winner of the truly incredible Menuhin Competition, just 13 years old, walked onto the platform of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and performed Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with such aplomb and sensitivity that half the audience were in tears.

Chad Hoopes, who comes from the US, is an artist to treasure.

Possessed of a superb technique, he even directed the wonderful players of the Orchestra Of Welsh National Opera, who brought this impeccably organised and inspiring celebration of talent to a stunning finale.
South Wales Echo
Shaker Heights seventh-grader wins international violin competition
Students of violinist David Cerone, president of the Cleveland Institute of Music, swept the senior and junior divisions last week at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in Cardiff, Wales.

Chad Hoopes, a 13-year-old seventh-grader at Shaker Heights Middle School, won first prize in the junior division, triumphing over Russian, American, Chinese and South Korean competitors. He won 3,500 pounds, or about $6,950.

First prize in the senior division went to Australia's Ray Chen, 19, who won about $10,000. Chen, a student at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, studied with Cerone for several summers at the Encore School for Strings, an institute program at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson. Hoopes and Chen took part in the opening concert of the institute's Mixon Hall in November.
Cleveland.com