“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”- Berthold Auerbach
Peter Hanson, Concertmaster
Home Town: London, England
In the early 1980s, Peter Hanson formed The Hanson String Quartet which went on to give regular BBC broadcasts, tour extensively and make several recordings. After the quartet gave its final concert at St. John's Smith Square, which was also recorded by the BBC, Peter Hanson became fascinated with period instrument performance. He was invited to lead the English Concert by Trevor Pinnock and within a year, he was travelling the world playing the baroque repertoire. He also led for Roger Norrington and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, playing romantic repertoire. Soon a vision of a new quartet emerged and the Eroica Quartet was formed with colleagues from the world of period instrument performance.
In addition to working with the Quartet, he now leads Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. This orchestra had a residency at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris culminating in the historic performance of Les Troyens by Berlioz in 2003. The orchestra was also used in the BBC television costume drama Eroica, in which Hanson both played music and acted.
The Eroica Quartet gave a Wigmore Hall recital in September 2003, and travelled to Spain to play all the Mendelssohn quartets in three concerts in Vigo. In May 2005, Harmonia Mundi released their third CD of the Mendelssohn quartets, which was in memory of Lucy Howard, their second violinist who tragically died in September 2004. Julia Hanson, his sister, is now playing with the quartet.
He has been invited as guest-leader with the Hallé Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Rostropovich. He now travels abroad to lead the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre with Marc Minkowski, L'Orchestre des Champs-Elysée and a new French orchestra, La Chambre Philharmonique, which is a period instrument group specializing in classical and romantic repertoire. In April 2005, he completed a tour of Europe as guest-leader of the London Symphony Orchestra.
In 2006, Hanson led for Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra playing Beethoven and Sibelius Symphonies. In the same year, he was invited to lead and instruct the Shanghai Opera orchestra in a unique performance of the Messiah in Shanghai.
In addition to performance, Hanson has been teaching at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama since 2005.