Daniel Hope is caught in Berlin shredding storm

Daniel Hope is caught in Berlin shredding storm


norman lebrecht

January 17, 2018

German social media are abuzz with news of the firing of Arno Lücker, a curator and dramaturg at the Konzerthaus Berlin, connecting his dismissal to a recent confrontation with the violinist and conductor Daniel Hope, who has a series at the Konzerthaus.

Lücker recently posted a musical shred video crossing a Daniel Hope performance with the snoozy-listening composer Ludovico Einaudi. Shreds were all the rage three years ago. Why they have just reached Berlin is a mystery, but I guess the Germans don’t always have to be first.

Daniel Hope, seeing the shred video, was upset by the content and got his lawyer to issue a Trump-like cease and desist letter, threatening heavy penalties if the shred was not taken down.

It promptly was.

Then, on January 12, the Konzerthaus fired Lücker.

His supporters are linking his dismissal to the Hope incident. A German music blogger, Moritz Eggert, took up the cudgels with an open letter to Hope.

Last night, Daniel Hope issued the following statement to Slipped Disc:

Gestern ist ein “offener Brief“ auf sozialen Netzwerken veröffentlicht worden, der folgende Richtigstellung veranlasst: Im Kern geht es um ein von Arno Lücker bearbeitetes Video („Shred“), das einem Moderations-Auftritt von mir eine andere als die originale Tonspur hinterlegt – und zwar explizite Worte über Genitalien, Exkremente und sexuelle Handlungen. Dem Zuschauer erscheint es so, als ob ich diese Worte über mich selbst spreche.  Nach einer Entschuldigung durch Herrn Lücker in einem persönlichen Schreiben ist die Sache für mich nun geklärt. Ich würde mir wünschen, dass wir uns nun alle dem widmen, was unser Beruf und Berufung ist: der Musik. 


Yesterday, an open letter was published on social networks, which prompts me to make the following correction: The heart of the matter is a Shred video, edited by Arno Lücker, which mixes a performance of mine with explicit words about genitalia, excrement, and sexual acts. It appears to the viewers that I am saying these things about myself. An apology by Mr. Lücker in a personal letter has settled the matter for me. I hope we can now all apply ourselves to our vocation, namely music.

Sometimes German humour gets hopelessly lost in translation.

UPDATE: Hope makes peace with shredder.


  • Huflaikhan says:

    It wasn’t Manuel Brug, but Composer an Blogger Moritz Eggert, who signed the open letter.

  • Andrew Hammel says:

    Actually, the letter wasn’t just signed, but also written, by *Moritz* Eggert, who is first and foremost a composer, and only occasionally a blogger and critic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moritz_Eggert

  • Susanne says:

    I think Daniel Hope should be ashamed of himself! It is public knowledge he is well linked to the general manager of the Konzerthaus. And to have such a direkt consequence happen is really upsetting. I dont know Arno Lücker but I sure know of Daniel Hope claiming to be all music and open and funny and lighthearted on camera and his projects. This is someone who clearly isn’t as relaxed as his public persona likes to pretend he is.

    • Anon says:

      Why? This shredding incident should be seen as imitation being the most sincerest form of flattery! Perlman, Lang Lang and co haven’t objected to their shredded performances! DH isn’t either liked nor respected in the UK by either musicians nor public. It’s only his tenuous association with Menuhin which seals his so called following in Germany….

  • Sharon says:

    And I remember when Beethoven’s 5th superimposed with a disco beat, was considered sacrilege!

  • Rodney Friend says:

    Wait – hang on, wasn’t it Daniel who recorded a ‘shred’ version of Vivaldi’s Seasons ? Anybody else heard this, re-written by Max Richter as a sort of cubist montage to ‘re-hear’ the concertos with new ears.

    BTW – do listen to it !

    It’s surprising Daniel has shown so little humour here

  • John Borstlap says:

    The whole idea of that ‘shred’ video is infantile and offensive….. and not amusing at all. When you read the long ‘letter’ by Moritz Eggert on the NMZ site defending such things as ‘Volkskunst’, you know that he is defending populism. The videos he presents by way of illustration are not amusing as well, and only demonstrate the low level of such initiatives.

    Such type of primitive jokes should not circulate in public spaces, and certainly not about classical music, which is under attack by populism anyway. People indulging in such ‘jokes’ don’t realize that they are sawing the branch on which they are sitting.

  • DanielHoffnung says:

    Freedom of the arts and freedom of speech were obviously met here with heavy handed lawyer letters and instigated sacking of the accused.
    Maybe Mr. Hope should reconsider whether liberal Berlin is the right place for him. There are plenty of countries that will openly welcome his bullish approach.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Liberal Berlin? Where tasteless ‘jokes’ sprinkled with obscenities are considered ‘humor’ when directed to a serious classical musician? Where there is a florishing classical music scene – as yet – which tries to integrate with a newly-found modernity and cultural identity? If defending populism and tastelessness is considered progress, one cannot speak of liberalism.

  • Anon says:

    I wasn’t aware of the shred, until Daniel Hope reacted as thin skinned as he did, giving the case all this publicity. He needs to grow a pair. What a toxic response by him and Konzerthaus management. Shameful, disappointing, totally humorless.

    • John Borstlap says:

      There is something to be said for the notion that German humor is something that invites for some improvement.

      • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

        To paraphrase Ned Rorem: There are only two artistic aesthetics: one is French and the other is German. French art music tends to be light and full of wit, while everyone knows that, as Mark Twain once said, a German joke is no laughing matter.

        • Alexander Radziewski says:

          You are correct towards the German humor as it can only fill one of the two thinnest books in literature. The other one is “Secrets of English Cuisine.” 🙂 Greetings from Germany.

          • Grabenassel says:

            ….don’t forget “History of American Culture” and “Italian Heroe Sagas”…..
            Gruß aus der Zossener 49..;-))

          • Bruce says:

            MFK Fisher once wrote that different countries have a basic underlying flavor that is characteristic of their national cuisine.

            For the French, it’s butter (or maybe it was cream).
            For the Italians, it’s olive oil.
            For the Russians, it’s sour cream.
            For the English, it’s water.


  • buschtrommel says:

    Do you know the new genre of the “self-shred” invented by Hope at the Echo Klassik 2017 banned on youtube by the Echo management itself:

    Or should I renew my eyes and ears?

  • steven holloway says:

    It baffles me as to why he would do so, but I think it well for Hope that he apparently restricted distribution of his statement to only source, and a blog at that. He has at least saved himself truly widespread embarrassment, his own shenanigans being very well known.

  • buschtrommel says:

    Nice, Daniel Hope and the dramturge, blogger Arno Lücker and his helping hand Carlotta Joachim are celebrating reconciliation, yesterday evening at Philharmonie Essen. Now the way should be open for an annulment of the dismissal for Mr. Lücker through the Konzerthaus Berlin and his artistic director Mr. Nordmann for whom the eschewal of contact between Hope and Lücker was allegedly important for his decision. Now they are friendly in contact, peace reigns, dear Konzerthaus, please let prevail clemency!