Stephen Hope started his musical career as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School and the King`s school. He continued his musical training as an organ scholar at Bristol University where he specialized in keyboard and conducting. Since then, Stephen has had wide experience of both conducting and as a pianist with the London Chamber Players, Northern Ballet Theatre, English Northern Philharmonia, Scottish Opera and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
He has also worked with many international artists such as Marilyn Hill-Smith, Jack Brymer, John Noble, Dame Felicity Lott, Frank Edgerton, Dame Ann Murray, Ronald Smith, Sir Willard White, Sir Harry Secombe, Dame Emma Kirby, Clarence Myerscough, Neil Jenkins, Roy Castle, James Bowman and David Wilson-Johnson.
Stephen`s work in the theatre saw him conduct the highly acclaimed performances of Nabucco, Masked Ball, Carmen and Turandot with the Bel Canto Festival Opera during his four years as their Musical Director. He regularly engages orchestras and artists for shows and concerts and has worked as a radio presenter on CFM Radio, and as a guest on the Clive Bull Show on LBC. His one man show `Face the Music with Hope` has been presented throughout the UK with great success. Also, he maintains a parallel career as an organist in his posts as Director of Music at St. John`s, Belmont and the Streatham Liberal Synagogue and as an accompanist and a member of the music staff at Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom.
In 1988 he created the Alkan International Piano Competition.
In 1989 and 1990 he was awarded a coveted Fellowship to the Conductors` Institute of America which led to studying under the likes of Morton Gould, Daniel Lewis, Harold Farberman and Lukas Foss.
He has been Music Director for the West Sussex Philharmonic Choir (WSPC) since 2002 and is also Musical Director for the Basildon Choral Society (BCS). In 2002 Stephen formed his own orchestra, Sinfonia da Chiesa and in 2003 he founded the Sussex Festival Choir (SFC). The SFC is primarily made up of singers from the WSPC and BCS, with individual singers joining in from around Sussex, Surrey and Kent, forming a choir of some 200 singers. Together they have performed a major choral work in Arundel Cathedral every year since, raising over £100,000 for St. Catherine`s and St. Wilfred`s Hospices. Recent highlights have included concerts with Sinfonia da Chiesa at Cadogan Hall, St. John`s, Smith Square and Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Future plans include conducting at the Cultours World Choir Festival in Vienna, a return to St. John`s, Smith Square and a tour to Prague in 2018.
In 2004 the newly formed Essex Festival Choir gave its inaugural concert in Chelmsford Cathedral with the proceeds going to the hospice movement.
In June 2005 he undertook a concert tour with 120 singers and instrumentalists to Rome and Florence to great acclaim, receiving invitations to conduct concerts in Houston and a concert for the Pope in 2006. He regularly organizes short choir and orchestra trips abroad, to places such as Bruges, Rouen, Lille and Bavaria.
In June, 2007 Stephen took the Sussex Festival Choir and the Sinfonia da Chiesa on a five day tour to Venice, which was very enthusiastically received.
Highlights of 2007/2008 included numerous choral concerts and workshops, culminating in SFC`s sixth concert performing Mendelssohn`s Elijah in Arundel Cathedral.
In 2011 he formed the Orchestra of the 19th Century meeting monthly at Croydon.
In 2013, Stephen conducted workshops and masterclasses in Dallas.
In April 2017 Stephen was appointed Musical Director for the Folkestone Choral Society (FCS) comprised around 100 singers.
Links to current choirs conducted by Stephen Hope :
West Sussex Philharmonic Choir
Basildon Choral Society
Sussex Festival Choir
Sussex Festival Singers.